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PARSONS: Reflecting on our progress

When I moved to Dickinson from the central valley of California in September 2016, I knew right away that this was an opportunity to join a dedicated team that was committed to re-energizing a campus that was vital to the region. While many small...

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When I moved to Dickinson from the central valley of California in September 2016, I knew right away that this was an opportunity to join a dedicated team that was committed to re-energizing a campus that was vital to the region. While many small, regional, rural campuses nationally are struggling, Dickinson State is embedded in a community committed to its success. This year we have been able to accomplish a number of objectives to strengthen and grow the university.

Sometimes we don't take the time to reflect and measure our progress, and the accomplishments are lost in the minutia of daily tasks. I enjoy hearing positive results from my former colleagues, at Hartnell College in California, about enhancements and projects we began during my time in Salinas. Receiving these updates reminds me of the good work we did together and inspires me to envision how the work underway here at DSU will continue to take shape in the future.

Over the past year, we have implemented some changes around campus that will improve the overall service we provide the students. Some of those changes include: the establishment of an information desk; implementing a One-Stop Student Services Center; centralizing academic support services; opening the Sanford Sports Facility; contracting the management of our University Store with national campus store retailer Follett; partnering with the Educational Advisory Board to enhance enrollment management and retention capabilities; and updating student gathering and study spaces. Overall, we have had an exciting and effective year with one goal in mind - creating spaces and enhancing services to attract students to DSU and ensure that once they are here, they have positive experiences and adequate support as they work to fulfill their individual academic goals. We continually strive to improve the services offered here at DSU and create a campus climate of which we can all be proud.

The division of finance and administration includes the offices of information technology, facility operations, security, business affairs, and human resources. I am honored to lead this group of individuals who have demonstrated to me their dedication to the university's mission. As a University of Michigan graduate, and basketball fan, I think of the work our team does in terms of a basketball analogy. The best basketball games you see are those contests when you don't even notice the referees. They are just out on the court doing their jobs with little fanfare or drawing attention to themselves. Similarly, the leaders and staff in the finance and administration division often work behind the scenes, collaborating with others across campus, to ensure prospective students, current students, and visitors have a positive experience on campus.

Todd Hauf is our Chief Information Officer and a long-time DSU staff member who manages all our information technology needs. Todd and his team handle many of the technical aspects and computer support for the campus. Jack Schulz is our Director of Security and Emergency Management. Jack is managing our new information center located in the Student Center, and he also keeps all of us laughing. Laura Nelson joined our staff June 1, as our new Controller and Director of Business Affairs. Laura is already making a positive impact on our financial reporting and budget monitoring. In six short months, Laura has already upgraded the overall performance of our Business Affairs Office. She brings several years' experience as Controller at Mayville State University prior to coming to DSU. Mick Riesinger is our Director of Facility Operations. Mick and his team literally keep this place operating. The entire facilities team, with limited resources, does a great job with everything from snow removal to changing a light bulb. Krissy Kilwein is our new Director of Human Resources. Krissy filled this role as Interim Director beginning February 1, and, after an extensive search, the 'Interim' tag was removed as of September 1. She has been a great addition to our staff, and has more energy than the rest of us combined. Last, but certainly not least, is Jen Zier. Jen's role as Administrative Assistant for the Administrative Services area is vital in keeping all of us in line.

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I encourage each of them to do their work with excellence, to the best of their ability, and to work together as one cohesive unit - never looking for fanfare. The ultimate goal of our division is to support the academic mission of our campus in serving the region, serving the community, and most importantly - serving the students. This group is doing a great job and we are fortunate to have them here at Dickinson State University. If you have the opportunity to interact with a member of our staff, please take a minute to thank them for keeping the DSU campus looking as good as it does.

We are looking forward to the opportunities and projects the New Year will bring. I am excited to lead this dedicated team of business professionals as we engage in projects to enhance campus facilities and processes that will strengthen and grow the university.

Related Topics: DICKINSON STATE UNIVERSITY
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