North Dakota State University invites applications and nominations for the position of PROVOST.  Review of candidate materials will begin in August 2020. 


Proud of and committed to its historic land-grant mission, the National Science Foundation ranks NDSU 94th among all public research universities. NDSU has attained the Carnegie Classification of “Research Universities/High Research Activity” and is on the cusp of “Very High Research Activity.” As such, it is the top-ranked university in North Dakota, and one of the top in its five-state region.

The state of North Dakota today enjoys a growing economy built on historically strong agricultural productivity that leads the country in twelve commodities, matched by an extraordinarily strong energy industry with an anticipated viability extending many decades into the foreseeable future. North Dakota's economic strength provides a springboard for steadily increasing opportunities to apply NDSU's research and discoveries including partnerships with local, regional and national external entities.  Local area partners include the second largest Microsoft campus in the nation outside of Redmond, Washington; multi-state Sanford Health (one of the largest not-for-profit health organizations in the nation); Aldevron (the largest DNA manufacturer in the world); Appareo Systems (one of the largest avionics manufacturers in the nation), and; heavy equipment manufacturing facilities of Case/New Holland, Doosan/Bobcat and Caterpillar.

NDSU is located in the vibrant and growing city of Fargo, North Dakota.  North Dakota has been one of the fastest growing states in the country over the past decade with the Fargo area in the vanguard of that growth, with a MSA population of more than 280,000.  Residents of Fargo enjoy a fantastic quality of life with the City continuously earning numerous national awards ( 

Reflecting the broadening success and priorities of the University, the Provost serves as the chief academic officer of NDSU and coordinates all university scholarly and instructional activities.  In addition, the Provost oversees most student affairs functions.  The Provost reports directly to the President of NDSU.  NDSU is in the process of completing a thorough, campus-wide strategic planning process, and the incoming Provost will play a key role in ensuring the implementation of the strategic plan.

MINIMUM REQUIREMENTSThe successful candidate must fully meet each requirement:

  • An earned terminal degree from an accredited institution.
  • A broad-based record of administrative and scholarly experience in research university settings including leadership of a university college or school, with direct supervisory experience for academic departments and units reporting to that entity, along with significant budget management experience therein. 
  • An exemplary record of research/scholarship/creative activities, innovative teaching methods including both design and delivery, and service to university and broader communities.
  • A strong ability to communicate effectively as exemplified by the candidate’s writing, public speaking and listening skills.
  • Experience with and responsibility for faculty development and evaluation of promotion and tenure at the college or school level.
  • Experience with recruitment and retention of diverse campus communities.
  • Understanding of and support for the broad liberal arts range of disciplines and programs comprising the mission of a contemporary land-grant university.
  • Commitment to shared governance and collaborative leadership including as appropriate students in decision making processes.
  • The desire to share, support and successfully articulate the President’s vision for the strategic direction and administration of the University.
  • Experience with and commitment to the importance of student affairs.
  • Commitment to the objectives of affirmative action, equal opportunity, and diversity.

PREFERRED LEADERSHIP CHARACTERISTICS – NDSU seeks a Provost who demonstrates an ability and commitment to:

  •    Provide leadership and thrive as a team player in a dynamic and fast-moving environment.
  • Work positively, effectively, and collaboratively with administrative colleagues, faculty, staff, and students to implement the Strategic Priorities for the Provost (see beginning on pg. 3 of this document).
  • Partner with stakeholders including the State Board of Higher Education, state and national legislative representatives, private sector business partners, community leaders, alumni and the public at large.
  • Advancement of the objectives of affirmative action, equal opportunity and development of a culturally and academically diverse campus.
  • Provide passionate, analytical, and forward-thinking leadership by working effectively with faculty, staff, students and administration to support a shared vision of continuous improvement and encourage high quality student learning and academic and research programs. 
  • Demonstrate experienced, transparent and future-oriented fiscal management; an ability to obtain internal and external financial support for the university in collaboration and with the Vice President for Finance and Administration and the NDSU Foundation staff as applicable and; administer fiscal resources appropriately to dependent constituencies. 
  • Nourish NDSU’s emergence as a globally recognized leader in higher education and its land-grant mission via entrepreneurship, flexibility, and creativity.
  • Demonstrate a commitment to the interface of the institution with the communities it serves through outreach, engagement and creative activities.
  • Consistently demonstrate integrity to foster an environment of trust.


The Search Committee invites letters of nomination, applications (letter of interest, full resume/CV, and contact information of at least five references), or expressions of interest to the search firm assisting the University.  Review of materials will begin immediately until the appointment is made.  It is preferred, however, that all nominations and applications be submitted by July 20, 2020 to:

Laurie C. Wilder, President
Porsha L. Williams, Vice President
Parker Executive Search ||
Phone: 770-804-1996 ext.: 109; 111 Fax: 770-804-1917

Pursuant to North Dakota public records laws, applicants’ materials will be exempt from disclosure, provided, however, after finalists are named by NDSU, the finalists’ redacted materials will be subject to public disclosure but all other applicants’ materials will remain exempt.

TOWARD the future—strategic priorities for the provost

Valuing the distinctive land-grant mission of NDSU

The Provost, under the direction of the President and in collaboration with the Vice Presidents and Deans, will champion the importance and value of a NSF top-100 ranked, student-focused, land-grant research institution to the state of North Dakota. The Provost must nurture an effective and diverse community of scholars and teachers, and value outreach as typified by land-grant university contributions locally and across the state and nation.

Advancing academic vision and mission

NDSU continues to develop its status as a nationally ranked research university with cross-, multi- and trans-disciplinary academic and research programs led by highly respected faculty.  The Provost, in concert with the President's vision, will have the opportunity to shape a distinctive model for higher education in the nation.  NDSU's faculty are also committed to maintaining a student-centered and intellectually exciting curriculum, focusing on preparing NDSU graduates to be well-rounded world citizens and successful and ethical professionals.  Accordingly, the Provost must have the experience and insight to provide passionate leadership and advocacy for NDSU as it pursues its core mission of student learning and academic excellence. The Provost will need to prioritize and manage expectations within an evolving fiscal climate and sustain progress through academic and research partnerships, including the burgeoning NDSU Research & Technology Park, and the 35,000 student “Tri-College University” collaboration between the five colleges and universities in Fargo/Moorhead: North Dakota State University, North Dakota State College of Science, Minnesota State University-Moorhead, Minnesota Technical & Community College, and Concordia College.

Fostering student success and involvement

The students of NDSU provide energy and innovation to help create a vibrant campus.  In close collaboration with the Vice Provost for Student Affairs and the entire campus community, the Provost must foster an environment that cultivates student success both in and outside of the classroom. The Provost must be committed to providing the students of NDSU with an exceptional educational experience in the state's most exciting and dynamic higher education environment.

Advancing a commitment to research AND CREATIVE ACTIVITY

As a top-100 research university, NDSU is a place of discovery committed to the generation of new knowledge and related creative endeavors.  Such activities are the underpinnings of academic excellence that enriches society and contributes to the economic vitality of the state, region, and nation. The Provost must have a proven record and clear understanding of research and creative excellence, as well as research development.  Moreover, the Provost must understand the roles of a major research university and the relationship of high-quality graduate programs to research and creative activities. Working with the President and campus community to develop and implement a shared academic vision, the Provost must expand research infrastructure and augment the overall research enterprise of the university to sustain the Carnegie Doctoral Granting Universities classification of High Research Activity with the goal of reestablishing Very High Research Activity status, and lead NDSU's growing achievements and ranking by the National Science Foundation.

Valuing a vibrant AND DIVERSE faculty, administration and staff

The Provost will work with the vice presidents as well as deans and department heads to recruit and retain a diverse and exemplary faculty.  Along with other faculty leaders, the Provost will encourage an effective governance model consistent with the institution’s mission and future direction. Consistent with this goal, the Provost will be an advocate for faculty and staff development. The Provost also will strive for transparency and consistency in evaluation of faculty for promotion and tenure. The Provost will integrate and demonstrably promote University goals for diversity and inclusion, and will continue to recruit and retain an enthusiastic, diverse, and skilled team of academic leaders who will effectively contribute to and enhance the overall land-grant mission of NDSU.

Turning ideas into action

NDSU must respond thoughtfully to the challenges of state demographics, enrollment trends, shifts in the market of its academic programs, changes in technology, and the constantly evolving needs of its learners, both undergraduate and graduate as well as those served through research and extension activities throughout the state. The Provost must work with faculty, staff, and other academic administrators, North Dakota University System colleagues, local and state legislators, business leaders, and alumni as well as the vibrant local community to foster a culture of continuous learning, discovery and improvement by helping to map and assess strategic action plans to ensure that NDSU reaches its full potential. 

Fostering Program stature

The strength of NDSU begins with the quality of its faculty, staff, students, and institutional partners. The unique array of cross-disciplinary programs must continue to grow in stature. The Provost must commit to an environment of inclusion and transparency, which should increasingly involve faculty, staff, and students as partners in decision-making processes as they help to set and meet the highest standards. The Provost will be an enthusiastic spokesperson for NDSU and the President's vision with internal and external constituencies while continually advancing NDSU’s mission and its innovative academic and research programs.

Planning for campus facilities

To create safe and productive scholarly environments, the Provost must work collaboratively with campus colleagues to ensure a shared vision of strategic facilities planning and support.  Opportunities exist for improved development and operation of facilities by use of efficient, proven, innovative, and environmentally sound technologies to ensure that the campus facilities continue to nurture the growth of the university in the future.

Nurturing relationships and entrepreneurship 

Reflecting the President's vision, the Provost will work with the vice presidents to enhance NDSU’s standing among the varied constituencies it serves.  This includes participating on national, state and local boards; developing alliances with local and regional service organizations and local and state businesses; and fostering positive relations with foundations, granting agencies, university alumni, and both state and national legislative representatives.

strengthening GRANTS AND philanthropic development

The Provost will need to collaborate with the President and the university’s development team to build a robust framework to support groundbreaking and innovative academic initiatives.  This will involve planning with faculty, academic administrators, staff, alumni and other partners to establish fundraising priorities, identify potential grants, friends and donors, and encourage their engagement and support of NDSU initiatives and programs.

Ensuring involvement AND TRANSPARENCY

The steady and substantial growth of the institution during the past decade has impacted the campus in myriad ways.  The Provost has a shared responsibility to ensure broad and effective involvement and transparency in decision making processes, as well as nurturing collaborative and team-based efforts to benefit the university as a whole. 

Building a bright future for NDSU

To be successful at NDSU and with broader statewide constituencies, it is vitally important that the Provost be an ethical, compassionate, creative, communicative, energetic, and engaging leader who can join forces with all of the diverse constituencies, internal and external, to lead the academic and scholarly activities of NDSU towards their full potential, and national and international recognition.  Personal integrity and a collegial style are critically important to success in the NDSU campus culture.


North Dakota State University ( is distinctive as a student-focused, land grant, Research University, ranked by the Carnegie Commission on Higher Education among the top public and private universities in the country.  NDSU is in the elite category of "Research Universities/High Research Activity," with several programs ranked in the Top 100 by the National Science Foundation. NDSU is fully accredited by the Higher Learning Commission of the North Central Association of Colleges and Secondary Schools.

NDSU’s overarching goals are to be A:


  • Teaching and conducting research to engage and involve students in an immersive learning environment.
  • Promoting academically rigorous programs set in a rich, diverse, supportive community. 
  • Appointing faculty and staff who are focused on student success and on-time graduation.
  • Teaching to the highest standards by highly qualified faculty, researchers and national experts. 
  • Creating on-campus learning environments to foster student success, as the majority of students are full-time, and residential.
  • Providing diverse online programs and courses that serve a larger student population.
  • Launching graduates who compete successfully, nationally and globally.
  • Fostering a strong, shared commitment that drives students, faculty and staff. 


  • Combining access with affordability in an academically rigorous, demanding environment.
  • Creating solutions to ever-changing, real-world problems.
  • Attracting and retaining intellectual capital that benefits the state, nation and world.
  • Distributing knowledge to communities and stakeholders via the Extension Service and other entities.
  • Forging meaningful, productive, collaborative relationships with business, industry, non-profits, government, and local and regional communities.
  • Promoting faculty and student engagement in community service that enhances the public good.
  • Creating opportunity for advance­ment and success of the state’s citizens.


  • Direct involvement of graduate and undergraduate students in world-class research.
  • Teaching students via hands-on learning by top researchers in their disciplines.
  • Combining intellectual capital, resources and vision, where ideas become opportunities.
  • Attracting new undergraduate, graduate and doctoral students, researchers and revenue to the state and region.
  • Creating and transferring new knowledge and advanced technology toward applied outcomes.
  • Creating intellectual property, which creates new business opportunity and jobs.
  • Broadening the economic base of the state and region.


Administrative Organization

Research Facts

  • NDSU has grown 36% in research expenditures since 2007 to 2019 ($107 million to $145 million currently and trending upward, and as high as $156 million in recent years). 
  • NDSU ranks 138 out of more than 600 institutions in research expenditures and 110 among all non-medical school institutions.
  • NDSU ranks in the top 100 among all institutions in many research areas including Computer Sciences, Agricultural Sciences, Materials Sciences, Social Sciences, and Industrial Engineering. 
  • NDSU researchers have reported nearly 600 unique invention disclosures since 2007. With large contributions from Plant Sciences and Coatings and Polymeric Materials, additional disclosures have been contributed by the Engineering, Health Professions, Chemistry and Biochemistry, and Computer Science departments.
  • For more details, see the President’s State of the University Address for 2019:

About the Fargo, ND-Moorhead, MN Area

The Fargo-Moorhead community is ranked among the fastest growing urban areas in the country and best places to live, work, attend school, and both start up and conduct new businesses.

See the following for more information:,,,,,, and

NDSU Provost search Committee MEMBERSHIP

Dr. Charles Peterson, Search Committee Chair and Dean of the College of Health Professions
Dr. Mukund Sibi, University Distinguished Professor, Department of Chemistry & Bio Chemistry; College of Science and Math
Dr. Michael Weber, Professor of Choral Activities; College or Arts, Humanities and Social Science
Dr. Alan Kallmeyer, Professor and Chair of Department of Mechanical Engineering; College of Engineering
Dr. Katie Lyman, Assistant Professor of Health, Nutrition & Exercise Science; College of Human Science & Education, and Faculty Senate Executive Committee
Dr. Joshua Marineau, Associate Professor of Management; College of Business
Ms. Karla Haug, Assistant Professor of Practice Nursing; School of Nursing
Dr. Abbey Wick, Assistant Professor of Soil Health; NDSU Extension Service
Dr. Jolynne Tschetter, Executive Director; NDSU Research Foundation
Dr. Molly Secor-Turner, President; NDSU Faculty Senate
Ms. Tabitha Thomas, NDSU Staff Senate, and International Faculty & Scholar Advisor
Mr. Mason Rademacher, President; NDSU Student Body
Mr. John Glover, Executive Director & CEO; NDSU Foundation and Alumni Association
Dr. Canan Bilen-Green, Vice Provost for Faculty and Equity (ex-officio)

North Dakota State University is an Equal Opportunity/Affirmative Action Employer.  Women and traditionally underrepresented groups are encouraged to apply.  This position is exempt from North Dakota Veterans’ Preference requirements.

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