Mitzel: DSU plans to improve communications

In the past two Hawk's Perch communications, I shared the first two of the university's three guiding principles; "students are paramount," and "faculty and staff are the core of the institution." In today's column, I wish to share my thoughts on...

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In the past two Hawk’s Perch communications, I shared the first two of the university’s three guiding principles; “students are paramount,” and “faculty and staff are the core of the institution.” In today’s column, I wish to share my thoughts on the third of these principles, “teamwork and community is the platform upon which we must build.”
The beauty of a small city and its relationship with its university cannot be overstated. Together, both entities will reach goals much higher than can be imagined alone. The key to this relationship is unity and communication. Although an easy statement to write, unity and communication is a concept that must be nourished and strengthened each day.
Dickinson State University has witnessed exciting progress in the past several months in areas of student recruitment and support, faculty leadership and community outreach.
This progress is necessary to ensure that we prepare our students to enter a dynamic working environment upon graduation. With many projects in motion, and in a fluid atmosphere with multiple moving parts, communication to all constituents is paramount.
One of my personal goals is to always be forthcoming in decisions that we make, and projects we undertake. To help achieve this goal for communication with the DSU campus and Dickinson community, we will be introducing new communication tools. These six monthly “touchpoints” will cross a variety of media areas, and offer several methods for community members to remain abreast of issues while having regular input into the conversation that will lead DSU and the surrounding area into an ever-brightening future.
Hawk’s Perch will continue as a medium for outreach about DSU to the community. We are grateful to The Dickinson Press for this opportunity, and have received positive feedback with regard to the column.
We will be disseminating an on-campus newsletter twice a month containing updates from the president and cabinet members. These documents will be distributed electronically at the middle and end of each month. If you have a DSU email address, you will automatically receive a copy. If you do not have a DSU email address but would like to receive a copy, please contact Marie Moe at to be placed on our mailing list.
A monthly video message will be available for viewing around the third week of each month. The message entitled “A Minute with Mitzel” will give a short, efficient, oral update with regard to occurrences and ideas emanating from the DSU campus along with outreach efforts into the surrounding Dickinson community.
Finally, there will be an open meeting each month on the DSU campus. This open meeting will be a “town hall” style of gathering for anyone in the Dickinson community (on campus and off) to chat with members of the president’s cabinet. A call-in number will be made available to participants who are unable to attend physically the meeting. The first forum will be held May 13.
Outside of the communication outreach mentioned above, I have two internal advisory committees with whom I meet once per month.
The Student Advisory Committee allows for me to gain insight into what agenda items are important to students. Based on their insight and input, we have redesigned part of the DSU Student Center, and we will be revamping the outdoor volleyball pit May 1, with DSU student help!
I greatly enjoy these interactions. The President’s Advisory group contains representatives from the campus divisions and senates. Members of this group ensure that I am updated on information and concerns across campus, and offer a wonderful method to share information across all campus divisions. I am in the process of putting together an external advisory committee comprised of community members. It is my hope that sharing information and ideas with this group on a monthly basis will help ensure that DSU is continually working toward the betterment of student education and the surrounding region. In unity, we will move forward more strongly toward our goals.
This article is final article regarding the three guiding principles on top of which DSU builds its platform to the future. These principles reveal the importance of all community members to the success of Dickinson State University, and the need to communicate our hopes, dreams, and goals as we move forward.
I have a good deal of optimism and enthusiasm surrounding the Dickinson region family’s future, and am honored that DSU will be a strong partner in planning that future. I look forward to all of our forthcoming interactions.
Mitzel is the president of Dickinson State University. Email him at or follow him and the university on Twitter at Mitzel_Pres and DickinsonU.

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