MSU President's Newspaper Column

August 21, 2021 

We’re off and running toward the new academic year!

This has been a busy and exciting week at Mayville State University. All faculty and staff are back on campus and participated in our annual pre-service activities. This is a time when we share updates, take time for training, and make final preparations for the Fall 2021 semester.

Pre-service began on Aug. 18 with my annual State of the University address. We decided to change up the venue and held the event at Scott Berry Field this time. This was done out of an abundance of caution related to the COVID-19 situation. Being outdoors provides a safer environment related to spread of the virus and also the large venue allowed people to spread out if they so desired.

In my address, I laid out my major objectives for the university. They include establishing a stable budget Our main revenue sources are dependent on enrollment, as well as housing, dining center, and bookstore purchases. Second, I see producing the best teaching, learning, and working environment for our faculty, staff, and students as an extremely high priority. Last, it is important for us to innovate and work to provide the qualified workforce needs for the state of North Dakota, which are also significant North Dakota University System and North Dakota Legislature objectives. 

Mayville State’s response to the COVID-19 situation has also been at the forefront of activities this week. In light of the rapidly spreading Delta variant of COVID-19, the Mayville State COVID-19 New Normal Taskforce and President’s Cabinet have been monitoring the evolving COVID-19 situation during the last several weeks. I am a member of the NDUS Smart Restart Taskforce which has been meeting weekly, as well.

Working together with Mayville State’s COVID-19 Liaison Amanda Jordan, we have established Mayville State’s Restart Plan for the Fall Semester of 2021. Our top priority in establishing this plan is to keep the members of the campus community safe and healthy.

Mayville State University recommends the proper use of a mask/face covering indoors when social distancing cannot be maintained for both vaccinated and unvaccinated people. Employees and students should carry a mask with them at all times and be prepared to wear it if desired/needed. This procedure is subject to change at any time.

New Normal Taskforce discussions on Aug. 11 led to a vote regarding the use of masks and face coverings. The Taskforce recommended President’s Cabinet support for faculty and staff members to have the ability to require masks in their classrooms, offices, and work spaces when social distancing cannot be maintained. This means anyone affiliated with MSU should have a mask available and comply with mask/face covering use in these situations.

Based on the Taskforce recommendation, the President’s Cabinet took action Monday, Aug. 16 leading to this decision. This new best practice went into effect Wednesday, Aug. 18 and is subject to change at any time.  

We recommend that all faculty, staff, and students get vaccinated. Mayville State Campus Health held a walk-in vaccination clinic on Aug. 18 and has a second one planned for Aug. 23. Free vaccines are available to students, faculty, and staff through Campus Health, not only during walk-in vaccination clinics, but also by appointment.

The first classes of the 2021-22 academic year are Aug. 23 at 4 p.m. the first full day of classes is Aug. 24. It’s not too late to enroll. For information, go to or call 701-788-4842.

The beginning of a new academic year is always filled with excitement and anticipation. It is great to have the campus bustling with activity. Colleagues are happy to reconnect and new employees are welcomed. Employees have the pleasure of connecting with returning and new students. The Student Life Department has lots of fun Welcome Week events planned for students. This is where important relationships are formed and the groundwork for making a difference for our students begins.