Bismarck, ND

Bismarck State College


The State Board of Higher Education for the North Dakota University System and the Bismarck State College (BSC) community invite applications for the position of President. The State Board and Chancellor have charged the search committee to identify an energetic and engaging leader. This successful candidate will lead the institution as BSC expands its mission toward a polytechnic model while embracing and deepening the college’s proud and successful community college offerings which include technical degrees and transfer options.

Founded in 1939 and overlooking the Missouri River, BSC and the Bismarck Mandan community are vitally and energetically connected. BSC faculty and staff guide nearly 4,000 students earning technical degrees as well as those who transfer on to four-year degree programs. The college offers laddered degrees in 44 technical programs to prepare students for good paying careers in two years or less, and more than 100 focus areas for our transfer students.  Many programs are offered both online and in the classroom. BSC is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission and enjoys full accreditation status while maintaining numerous program level accreditations  found here. The BSC Mystic athletic teams are part of the National Junior College Athletic Association.


BSC’s current mission is as a comprehensive community college. The college’s programming is grounded in transfer, technical, and workforce development and training programs, focused on student success and workforce responsiveness. Over the past decade, BSC has successfully added two baccalaureate degrees, one in Energy Management and a second in Cybersecurity. The North Dakota State Board of Higher Education recently charged the college to expand its mission by offering more Bachelor of Applied Science (BAS) degrees while at the same time maintaining its current transfer, technical and workforce training offerings. The college is pursuing its third BAS degree, an action that will trigger an expanded mission review by the Higher Learning Commission. A successful candidate will be able to promptly take the helm of this evolving effort and its many elements.


The president will be asked to provide consistent, balanced, thoughtful leadership, serving as the trusted voice of BSC for the long-term. With innovation noted in its mission, BSC’s president must be a creative thinker with a proven ability to lead energetically into the future. The next president will have a strong grounding in academia and insight into economic drivers and the inherent connections between the two. They will be an advocate for the college and community, and a transparent communicator able to connect to and motivate faculty, staff, alumni and the college’s partners at the local, national, and international level.

The successful candidate will be tuned into the changing landscape of both higher education and the needs and expectations of the students it serves. The president will be a strong advocate and a positive presence able to inspire the college community as it moves forward. The successful individual will be able to make complex, data-driven decisions for the common good and communicate the path to those decisions.  She or he should be able to manage diverse relationships, build consensus, and practice integrity. The president will be expected to build partnerships and collaborate for the well-being of the college, the system, and the state of North Dakota.   


The successful candidate should possess most, if not all, of the following characteristics:


  • Demonstrated commitment to student access, achievement, and retention

  • Understanding and appreciation for the values, trends and needs of 21st century students

  • An attitude of open, honest, mutual respect in discussion and action

  • Ability to forge partnerships and connect with alumni, the community, and private sector

  • Ability to leverage the synergies found in post-secondary education, secondary education, workforce and all levels of government

  • A demonstrated commitment to diversity, equity and inclusion through intentional partnerships among students, faculty, staff, and community

Communicating and Listening

  • Ability to relate to students, campus, and community stakeholders

  • Ability to motivate and invigorate staff, faculty and students around a purpose or vision

  • Ability to use a process of active listening and fair assessment to make decisions

  • Willingness to take measured risks and engage in creative problem solving

  • Connection and commitment to the culture, values, and attributes of the upper Midwest

  • Understanding of the college’s impact on the cultural fabric of the community through activities such as athletics, enrichment programming and the arts


  • Support for a diverse approach to education including the need for multiple modalities of instruction

  • Commitment to academic freedom

  • Demonstrated advocacy for students, faculty and staff

  • Strong understanding of large, complex budgets and fiscal responsibility

  • Value for strategic visioning, planning, and informed, data-based decision making leading to student success


  • Progressively responsible administrative experience

  • Master’s degree from a regionally accredited postsecondary institution


  • Earned doctorate or terminal degree from a regionally accredited postsecondary institution

  • Senior leadership experience in a higher education setting, as well as teaching experience

  • Leadership experience in a community college offering baccalaureate degree options

The successful candidate should be committed to working effectively in a statewide system of higher education (North Dakota University System) and with a statewide governing board (State Board of Higher Education).


To assure best consideration, nominations and applications should be received by January 10, 2020. The application must include a letter of interest of not more than three pages; a current résumé (or curriculum vitae); and the names of five professional references with each person's position, office or home address, e-mail address, and telephone numbers. References will not be contacted without prior authorization from the applicant. The new President will assume office on or before July 1, 2020.

The BSC Presidential Search is being coordinated internally through BSC Human Resources. Nominations and applications should be sent electronically to (MS Word or PDF format). Additional college information may be found at Search leads may be contacted at 701-224-5427,, or 701-224-2414,

Pursuant to N.D.C.C. § 44-04-18.27, applications and any records related to the applications which contain information that could reasonably be used to identify an applicant are confidential until finalists are designated by the State Board of Higher Education. Only information about finalists will be public.

Pursuant to the North Dakota University System’s General Record Retention Schedule, all records related to this search will be maintained for a minimum of three years, and all applications and related materials shall be retained for a minimum of six years, though the application materials of non-finalists shall remain confidential.


Bismarck State College is an equal opportunity institution that does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, sex, gender, gender identity, national origin, age, religion, sexual orientation, information protected by the Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act (GINA), marital status, disability, veteran’s status or any other status protected by law in its admissions, student aid, employment practices, education programs or other related activities.

Human Resources*Meadowlark Building*PO Box 5587*1700 Schafer St.*Bismarck, ND 58506-5587

701-224-5531*800-366-6888 (TTY Relay ND)

Veterans claiming preference must submit all proof of eligibility by the closing date.  Proof of eligibility includes a DD-214 and if claiming disabled status, a current letter of disability from the VA dated within the last 12 months.

This position requires a criminal history and credit record check. Applicants must be legally authorized to work in the United States. The North Dakota University System does not provide sponsorships. BSC determines employment eligibility through the E-Verify system.

Posted: 11/20/2019