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Board of Higher Education names BSC, DSU presidents

ND University System

Credit DSU
Dickinson State University president Stephen Easton.

The state Board of Higher Education has chosen Dr. Douglas Jensen to be the next President of Bismarck State College.

He will succeed Dr. Larry Skogen, who is retiring June 30th.

Dr. Jensen is the current president of Rock Valley College in Rockford, Illinois. He was one of three finalists the Board interviewed for the job.

Meanwhile, the Board decided to remove the “interim” from Dickinson State University’s interim President Stephen Easton. Easton was appointed to the interim job after Dr. Thomas Mitzel was named president of Kentucky Wesleyan last fall.

During his Board interview, Easton said DSU is facing challenges, and also opportunities – pointing to the “dual mission” the campus has adopted, where DSU will be offering both technical training and liberal arts.

"We're very excited about 'dual mission,' and moving into some what for Dickinson State are non-traditional areas of education," Easton told the Board. "We have the realities of having no building in which to teach those classes, no equipment in which to teach those classes, no faculty -- there are some significant challenges association with our move to dual mission."

Easton said the Legislature gave DSU $1 million to get started – but he told the board it won’t be enough.  He said DSU is working with the Dickinson community to look for potential solutions.

Easton also addressed enrollment.

"We need to grow our enrollment," Easton said. "There's just no two ways about that."

Easton said DSU development staff have been working on enrollment, even though the campus has been shut down because of the COVID-19 virus. But he told the Board once that passes, the future for DSU looks "bright."

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