President's Message

Dear BSU campus community,

It is great to see all the energy and enthusiasm from students, faculty and staff at the start of the 2019 academic year. This year’s Community Appreciation Day was so very well attended, and all in attendance appreciated the opportunities this event provides. I want to thank Jana Wolff and Angie Gora, along with the rest of the committee who planned and organized this highly popular event. Thanks also to so many of you who volunteered throughout the evening. Very well done! A couple of our athletics teams added to the excitement of the day with wins in their home openers — football defeated Northern State to cap Community Appreciation Day, and women’s soccer defeated Oklahoma Baptist. Go Beavers!

As you review this edition of the BSU Insider, you will see some changes to the format. We plan to communicate progress on the five priorities I shared in my remarks during the Fall Startup Breakfast, which are listed below:
  1. Strategic plan implementation
  2. Investment in our people
  3. Higher Learning Commission accreditation
  4. The Hagg-Sauer Hall Project
  5. Emergency Preparedness
This semester will mark the start of our Hagg-Sauer replacement project, for which we received $22.5 million in bond funding from the Legislature. The project will include several important repair and renovation projects across campus, and will provide the support we need to deliver high-quality education to our students.

Please be sure to join us on September 12 at 1:30 p.m. in the Beaux Arts Ballroom for the President’s Leadership Council meeting, where our topic will be the recent Campus Climate Survey.

I look forward to seeing you all across campus, and wish you a very productive semester.


Faith C. Hensrud, Ed.D.

In the News:

Updates on progress: Priority 1

Our strategic plan included five priorities with distinct goals to be completed over the five years of the plan. This section of the BSU Insider will provide an update with a focus on one priority each month. But first, it is important for you to know that the Mission and Vision created by the previous strategic planning committee in 2013-14, and reaffirmed in Fall 2017, have not been reviewed and approved by the Minnesota State Board of Trustees. The Mission and Vision will be presented to the Board this fall.

Priority 1: Build university capacity through distinguishing themes of place.

GOAL 1: Beginning Fall 2019, create at least one new undergraduate or graduate program a year that incorporates one or more themes of place.
a. Engage faculty and administrators in establishing a structure for evaluating the incorporation of place themes and values into existing and proposed programs.
Randy Westhoff has a call for faculty members of the Academic Assessment Committee. Each of this priority's three goals involve developing assessment tools to evaluate the level of infusion of place themes or values or the university's Shared Fundamental Values in the curriculum, so it makes sense to merge these activities into a single tool. 
Timeline: Fall 2018 – Academic Assessment Committee develops assessment tool that includes a self-evaluation form that all academic programs will complete to evaluate the level of incorporation of place themes/values and Shared Fundamental Values in their current program.
GOAL 2: By Spring 2019, complete a comprehensive study to clarify and focus the university brand as an expression of place themes and devise correlated strategies to improve recruitment and retention of students and employees.
a. Apply and optimize use of theme- and value-based branding strategies through continual testing, measurement, analysis, and refinement of messages and marketing tactics.
  • September 2018 – Marketing and Communications will recruit and convene Branding Task Force to review and discuss assessment as background for brand ascertainment work.
  • October-December 2018 – Executive Director will organize and direct a campus/stakeholder ascertainment process to elicit and clarify understanding of current brand image, pillars, positioning and identity. Compile results and share them with the Branding Task Force, President’s Cabinet and others.
b. Beginning Fall 2018, use annual research to establish a baseline for and measure change in whether and how identification with place is influential in student and employee decisions to become and remain members of the university community.
Timeline: Survey to be completed in Fall 2018 semester.    
GOAL 3: Beginning Fall 2018, develop at least one new initiative and/or collaboration a year that reflects place themes within and among academics, student life, athletics, and the community.
a. Review current place- and value-related activities within academics, student life, and athletics. Identify ways to expand, leverage, and/or connect them to maximize student learning and growth.
  • Planning committee for student life has met twice with plans to continue meeting fall 2018.  On time/target. 
  • Focus groups will work with academic deans to explore what place-and value-related themes means on the academic side.

President's Leadership Council: The Campus Climate Survey

As announced in a recent fac_staff email, the President's Leadership Council — a newly re-imagined advisory group that last year was referred to as the President's Cabinet — will hold its first of six meetings this academic year to provide an opportunity for in-depth conversations about important campus issues. The first subject will be the Spring 2018 Campus Climate Survey.

Please join President Hensrud and the council Sept. 12 at 1:30 p.m. in the Beaux Arts Ballroom for this important conversation. A Sept. 7 fac_staff email will include results of the survey and a summary illustrating areas where our faculty and staff report that BSU performs well, as well as areas that may require additional attention to help guide our conversation 

Office of Finance & Administration launches 
website for Hagg-Sauer Project updates

The Office of Finance & Administration and Vice President for Finance & Administration Karen Snorek have launched a website to provide regular updates and information about the university's project to replace Hagg-Sauer Hall and renovate space in four other buildings on campus. The site currently includes pages listing the project's overall objectives, a current timeline for work in all affected buildings across campus, a list of campus-wide improvements being made as part of the project, and a news section for important updates about the project.

The website also includes a form for submitting questions, comments or other feedback about the project. Questions submitted to the website will be answered directly by VP Snorek during regularly scheduled video updates posted on the site.

Please use the feedback form to let us know if you have questions or concerns, or if you have suggestions for other information you'd like to see on the Hagg-Sauer Project site.

Emergency Operations Team has new coordinator

This summer, Erin Morrill joined the Office of Public Safety as security coordinator and has begun coordinating meetings of the university's Emergency Operations Team. The group began its monthly meetings in August, and its early projects include a review of Bemidji State's Emergency Operations Plan and conversations about a potential fall-semester emergency training exercise.

Before joining the BSU community, Morrill spent four years as the emergency management director for the Martin County Sheriff's Office. She has a bachelor's degree in emergency management from North Dakota State University.

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