Dickinson State University was the first stop of nine "Pillar" events across the state aimed at continuing the discussion for the North Dakota University System's Envision 2030 education summit that took place earlier this year in May.

The event, which focused on diversity, was open to educators, students, employees and people from the community.

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DSU President Thomas Mitzel said it's important to include the community in higher education.

"Student education is a community endeavor," he said. "We strive very hard to keep the campus community involved. We strive very hard to keep the Dickinson community involved. DSU relies on the Dickinson community for support. We also want to be good stewart. If we are working together, if we are sharing ideas, if we continue the conversation, we can ensure that by 2030 student education will be in a better place than it is now."

The panel and breakout groups discussed how to reach three goals that were determined at May's Envision meeting.

The first goal is to redefine traditional student and delivery methods based on available metrics by 2019. The second goal is to provide intentional programming and delivery methods to meet those needs by 2021. The goal for 2030 is to prepare students to work in a global environment and diverse society.

Melanie Tucker, vice president of student affairs and enrollment management, said she was excited that there is a discussion for the future of students.

"I'm just so proud that we are having this conversation because I think it is really important not only for our campus community but our system to look at where we our students are going to be 10, 15, 20 years down the road," she said.

North Dakota University System Chancellor Mark Hagerott said an ever-evolving and changing environment and skill set means students have to be able to ebb and flow with the world.

"The overall goal is that we become more adaptive and responsive," he said. "We need to have the local input combined with research on changing technology."

Around 50 people attended, called in or were a part of video conferencing to listen to the discussions.

Tucker said she feels it is important to promote diversity since she is the first in her family to earn a doctorate degree and always placed importance on broadening her experiences.

"I'm somebody who worked to put myself through school and I chose to attend schools and earn degrees from different institutions across the country in part, so that I could live in different communities and be around different types of people than the environment than I grew up in because I thought to be the person that I wanted to be I needed that broader experience," she said.

Upcoming events: (all times in central time)

Wednesday, Sept. 21. 6-8 p.m. Williston State College. Energy.

Thursday, Oct. 6. 1-3 p.m. Valley City State University. Liberal Arts & Humanities.

Tuesday, Oct. 11. 8-10 a.m. University of North Dakota. Tomorrow’s Student.

Thursday, Oct. 13. 1-3 p.m. North Dakota State University. Agriculture.

Wednesday, Oct. 19. 1-3 p.m. Bismarck State College. Technology.

Wednesday, Oct. 19. 3-5 p.m. Lake Region State College. Health Care.

Thursday, Oct. 20. 1-3 p.m. North Dakota State College of Science (Fargo). Manufacturing.

Wednesday, Oct. 26. 1-3 p.m. Minot State University. The Whole Student.