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Other views: Keep Roosevelt library on DSU campus

Thank you Harvey Brock and The Dickinson Press for your editorial of June 20 regarding your view of locating the proposed Theodore Roosevelt Library on the campus of Dickinson State University. Certainly, our gratitude also goes to the North Dakota Legislature, the City of Dickinson commissioners, the DSU Foundation, the Theodore Roosevelt Center staff and the numerous private donors who have brought this project to the brink of reality.

In December 2013, 70 DSU faculty members signed a petition stating that locating the Roosevelt Library on DSU’s main campus would not only allow it to be a tool for our faculty and students to study and reflect on the importance of TR’s impact on North Dakota, the nation and the world, it would also be a dramatic sign of how DSU continues to meet its mission: To provide high-quality, accessible programs; to promote excellence in teaching and learning; to support scholarly and creative activities; and to provide service relevant to the economy, health and quality of life for the citizens of the state of North Dakota.

The DSU location would enhance the “walkability” of our community. DSU has ample space for the library and a beautiful main campus that would facilitate a wonderful, interactive experience for library visitors, K-12 school children, the community, DSU students and faculty in a contemplative, academic setting.

Roosevelt was one of our most influential presidents. During his administration, our nation transformed from the post-Civil War era to the world stage; the U.S. gross domestic product grew to be the largest in the world; numerous socio-economic matters inherent to a nascent industrialized nation were identified and addressed; and certainly Roosevelt was the conservationist of his era, creating a plethora of national parks. The issues faced by Roosevelt remain on the cutting edge of many areas of academic study even today. What better place to address them than the university nearest Roosevelt’s “training ground” from which, as he himself declared, “I would never have been president had it not been for my experiences in North Dakota.”

If the Theodore Roosevelt Presidential Library is located on the DSU campus, we will honor DSU as the university most identified with Roosevelt’s ideas and actions. The DSU location will also provide a much needed renaissance for the university and the entire western region of North Dakota. In short, we are ready and hope to “enter the arena.”

This opinion was formed by former DSU Faculty Senate Presidents Steve Doherty, Debora Dragseth, Fernando Quijano and Selma Sticha, as well as Charles Conrick, Eric Grabrowsky, Paul Johanson, Holly McBee and Jim McWilliams, all of whom are current or former members of DSU Faculty Senate Executive Committee.