Weekly Update

As always, there are exciting things happening at Northland! This week, I’ll highlight:

  • 3-D Printers
  • NECA Donation to Construction Electricity Program
  • Northland UAS Grads Placed Internationally
  • Minnesota Education Fair
  • MnSCU Leadership Council Retreat


3-D Printers
– I ran into Andrew Dahlen in the hallway in Thief River Falls last week and he was full of excitement about the new technology he had just installed into his electronics lab.  Two 3-D printers have been received by Northland through its partnership with 360° Center of Excellence in Manufacturing Technology.  Students had already begun producing items by programming the printers to deliver precise amounts of plastic to build up the three-dimensional objects.  It is a fascinating process!

Andrew is Northland’s nominee for the MnSCU Board of Trustees Award for Excellence in Teaching for 2015.  As the year progresses, he will develop a portfolio that demonstrates his teaching prowess and other activities that make him stand out as an excellent instructor.


NECA Donation to Construction Electricity Program
– The Dakotas Chapter of the National Electrical Contractors Association (NECA) presented the Northland Community and Technical College Foundation with a check for $25,000 to benefit the Construction Electricity program. Dakotas Chapter NECA has 40 members; it is the collective effort of each of the members that made this donation possible.  Ed Christian, Dakotas Chapter NECA Executive Director stated, “We look forward to employing, through the NECA Contractors, our future industry leaders presently enrolled in the Construction Electricity program at Northland. The opportunities for program graduates within the Dakotas and western Minnesota area will allow them numerous choices for a successful future.”


Northland UAS Grads Placed Internationally
– We got a great note from Bruce Jinneman, HALE (High Altitude Long Endurance) Enterprise Manager at Northrop Grumman.  He was reporting on five recent Northland graduates from the Unmanned Aerial Systems maintenance program.  Ryan Sternisha, Eric Anderson, Adam Smith, and Mike Kjensrud will be working at the NG maintenance base in Guam.  Josh Konakowitz has accepted an offer to work for NG in Sigonella, Italy.

Mr. Jinneman wrote, “Looks like Guam is being taken over by NCTC graduates!  Thanks again for producing such high caliber graduates.  It certainly makes my job easier when trying to fill openings.”


Minnesota Education Fair
– Northland will host the Minnesota Education Fair on Tuesday, September 30, 2014 from 9 a.m. until 11 a.m. at Northland’s Thief River Falls campus gymnasium. The education fair provides students and parents an opportunity to explore a variety of options for continued education, technical training, or military service after high school.  Representatives from over 60 educational institutions from Minnesota, North Dakota, South Dakota, Iowa, Wisconsin, and Manitoba will be available to answer questions and provide important information for post-high school planning.

The fair is sponsored by the Minnesota Association for College Admission Counseling (MACAC), which also hosts the National College Fair each fall in Minneapolis, Minn. The fair is open to high school students, transfer students, parents, and those interested in continuing their education.


MnSCU Leadership Council Retreat
–  I spent two full days in a MnSCU Leadership retreat last Monday and Tuesday.  The Leadership Council is comprised of the MnSCU college and university presidents and the Chancellor’s cabinet members.  It meets monthly throughout the year.  There were many sobering topics of conversation.  All of MnSCU’s colleges and universities are concerned about enrollment.  Analysis at the state level indicates that enrollment is closely tied to volatility in employment rates.  As employment improves in the state, fewer students are choosing to enroll.  Additionally, concern over rising student loan indebtedness appears to be driving more students to part-time status while they continue to work.

Although official enrollment statistics for fall term will not be available until the 30th day of the semester, Northland’s proximity to the robust economy of North Dakota and NW Minnesota certainly affects our enrollment.  Weekend articles in the media indicate real growth in enrollment at regional elementary schools; but, it will be some years before those students will be ready for higher education.

MnSCU’s biennial request to the Minnesota legislature was also discussed in detail.  The MnSCU Board of Trustees will be meeting in the next week and will finalize the request.

I hope you all have a great week!

Upcoming College Events

Tuesday, September 16, 2014
12:00 PM – Anonymous People – DVD and Discussion – TRF Campus Theater
Wednesday, September 17, 2014
·         12:00 pm – Hispanic Heritage Month: Tres Vidas – EGF Campus Commons

Thursday, September 18, 2014
·         10:00 AM – CNA Testing – EGF Campus

Friday, September 19, 2014
·         6:30 pm – Volleyball @ Rainy River CC

Saturday, September 20, 2014
·         12:00 pm – Volleyball @ Hibbing CC

Tuesday, September 23, 2014
·         5:00 PM – CNA Class #66- Hybrid – EGF Campus

Wednesday, September 24, 2014
·         6:30 pm – Volleyball vs. Fond du Lac TCC
My Schedule This Week

Monday, Sept. 15 – TRF – Multi- Events Center Board mtg, Staff Advisory Council, Capital Project mtg

Tuesday, Sept. 16 – TRF – Exec. Comm, TRF Advisory Committee Exec Group

Wednesday, Sept. 17 – EGF, NW MN superintendents’ mtg, Red Lake Falls

Thursday, Sept. 18 – EGF – morning, TRF afternoon – Cabinet mtg, Open House for new TRF Hospital

Friday, Sept. 19 – Vacation

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Weekly Update

Well, it was a busy first week of fall semester at Northland’s campuses! Students continued to enroll throughout the week and many classes and programs were filled to capacity. We’re still anticipating registrations from Farm Business Management – so, our enrollment projections are still not firm.

State-wide, enrollment at MnSCU colleges and universities has dropped. In our region, where so many jobs are available, there is stiff competition for the time and attention of prospective students. One clear trend is that many more students are enrolling part-time rather than full-time. This may indicate that many students have jobs while they are in college. We will continue to watch enrollment trends carefully.

This week, I will highlight the following:

  • Fall Scholarship Ceremonies
  • Pennies for Part-timers
  • Northland Loses Long-time Friends
  • TRF Advisory Committee
  • Football Consultations

Fall Scholarship Ceremonies

The NCTC Foundation will distribute scholarships this week. The ceremonies are scheduled at noon to encourage attendance of faculty members and supportive students. The Foundation is a steady friend of Northland’s students. Annually, around $150,000 in scholarships is distributed. The Thief River Falls Campus ceremony is scheduled for Tuesday, Sept. 2 at in the Gunderson Commons. The East Grand Forks Campus ceremony will be held Thursday, Sept. 4, in the Commons.

Pennies for Part-timers

In other great scholarship news, Art faculty member John Leopold renewed the “Pennies for Part-timers” bike trip across northern Minnesota. John organized and accompanied ten riders – students and alumni – who raised contributions that recognized their efforts in riding 262 miles from East Grand Forks to Duluth in June. Several other college staff contributed personal time and support, including training, driving, cooking, and donating. In all, over $6,000 was raised to support students.

Northland Loses Long-time Friends

During the past couple of months, Northland has lost a couple of long-time friends. Just last week, the “Voice of the Northland Pioneers,” Don Jorstad, passed away. Don worked in radio and television for many years, was active in many NW Minnesota sports and service organizations. The last time I saw Don was at the community welcome for the National Championship Women’s Basketball team last spring. His distinctive voice boomed out through the Northland Gym – a great welcome for well-deserving athletes. Don will certainly be missed.

Roger Peterson, an instructor of electronics and computers at Northland for thirty-six years, died in June. Although Roger retired from full-time teaching in 2006, he remained active as an instructor in Digi-Key University, a collaborative program between Northland and Digi-Key, in which incumbent workers receive additional targeted training. Even though his health prevented continuing in teaching, Roger still often attended the celebrations of Digi-Key graduates. He was a wonderful, kind man.

TRF Advisory Committee

A great group of about 35 community members gathered together with college personnel for the first Community Advisory Committee meeting of the year in Thief River Falls. A similar meeting will be held in East Grand Forks in late September.

This meeting concentrated on reforming the group and recommitting to communication and support. We invited representatives of many organizations, governmental entities, businesses, and schools to join us in planning the future of the campus. This coincides well with the Academic Master Planning process that is going on in the college this fall. Advisory group members were asked the following questions:
• What are your expectations as a member of this group?
• What about Northland is important to you personally or to your business/industry?
• What about Northland is important to the Thief River Falls Community?
• We are facing difficult enrollment and economic challenges. How do you think the college can best communicate difficult decisions with the community?

The group will meet again in September to discuss the challenges and opportunities facing the college and to provide input for decisions. A member of this group will also represent the community in the presidential search advisory group.

Football Consultations

During the summer a Project Action Team, composed of community members, college faculty members, students, and college staff met to examine the factors that contributed to the suspension of the football program at the time that the former head coach resigned in December, 2013. After six in-depth meetings where such issues as housing, Title IX compliance, and community support were discussed, a set of recommendations was developed and delivered to me in late August.

Because many of the recommendations contained in the document have implications for employee time, general funds, or student life funds, they will be discussed with several governance groups within the college community. I have already met with Northland’s head coaches and will have scheduled the following consultations that will lead to a final decision about the restoration of the football program by the end of September:

• Student Senates – as soon as they are organized for the year
• Faculty Shared Governance Council – Sept. 10
• Northland Cabinet – Sept. 18

I really appreciate the time and thoughtful consideration given to the many complex issues by the members of the Project Action Team.


Upcoming College Events

Wednesday, September 3, 2014
• 3:00 PM – Understanding Your Financial Aid Award Letter – TRF 605
• 6:30 pm – Volleyball @ Itasca CC
Thursday, September 4, 2014
• 12:00 PM – Understanding Your Financial Aid Award Letter – TRF 605
Friday, September 5, 2014
• 6:00 pm – Volleyball vs. Dakota College of Bottineau – TRF Gym
Wednesday, September 10, 2014
• 3:00 PM – Understanding How to Budget Your Money – TRF 605
• 6:30 pm – Volleyball vs. Central Lake – TRF Gym

My Schedule This Week

Monday, Sept. 1 – Labor Day Holiday
Tuesday, Sept. 2 – TRF – Fall Scholarship Ceremony
Wednesday, Sept. 3 – EGF – Student Senate Rep Meeting
Thursday, Sept. 4 – EGF – Fall Scholarship Ceremony
Friday, Sept. 5 – EGF – Exec Comm

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Weekly Update

The weekend before classes start in the fall is always filled with anticipation. Our campuses are welcoming a new group of students who have plans to accomplish and dreams to pursue. What I love most about our work in community and technical colleges is that we are privileged to be part of transformations. By the end of this year, many of our students will be prepared to move to the next stage of their lives, confident in their knowledge and abilities.

To kick this year off to a good start, the faculty enjoyed a wonderful, high-energy presentation by Jermaine Davis, a well-known motivational speaker who is also a faculty member at Century College in the Twin Cities. Because he works within our MnSCU system and is knowledgeable about its uniqueness, his message was really relevant. He urged the audience to see beyond personal perspective and to bring the best of self to every day.

This week, I want to bring you up-to-date on several issues that have taken a lot of attention over the summer:
• Administrative Transitions
• Aerospace Capital Project
• Housing
• Enrollment – NW Presidents meeting

Administrative Transitions

Three members of the administrative team have recently accepted employment offers outside of Northland.

Steve Crittenden, Thief River Falls Campus Dean and Athletic Director recently accepted an offer to become a dean at Anoka Ramsey Community College in Cambridge. This is a terrific opportunity for him and his family and brings them closer to extended family and the cabin in Ely. Steve’s last day at work will be Friday, August 29.

In the short term, Vice President Carey Castle will supervise the liberal arts faculty at the TRF campus; he will also serve as the campus dean and, consequently, will not schedule himself to be on the East Grand Forks campus as often. Jason Pangiarella will pick up some of Steve’s work with student life. Within the next two weeks, an interim Athletic Director will be appointed for the fall term.

Dan Klug, Chief Development Officer, accepted a position in Fargo and left Northland on August 15. Sheila Bruhn, assistant to the president, has been appointed Interim Chief Development Officer through June 30, 2015. Sheila has extensive experience serving as an executive director with a non-profit organization.

Jason Trainer, director of Enrollment Management, has moved to UND as the Director of Admissions. His last day at Northland was Friday, August 15. Nicki Carlson, long-time member of Northland’s student service team, has been appointed Interim Director of Enrollment Management through June 30, 2015.
Longer-term solutions will be discussed with governance groups within the college early in fall semester.

Aerospace Capital Project

During the past legislative session, Northland was awarded capital funding to demolish outdated metal hangars at the Aerospace site in Thief River Falls and replace them with a structure that will connect the Swenson Hangar and the classroom building and will provide adequate security and the technology necessary for our high-tech programs. The project was planned last year and we were the first among approved MnSCU projects to go out to bid.

Unfortunately, the bids came back substantially above available funding. This was due, in part, to being bid relatively late in the construction season and the steep competition for contractors in our region. We have been meeting with the architects to attempt to rescale the project to reduce costs and to set a bid schedule that will be more favorable. It is our intent to do this in late fall, 2014 so that construction can begin in the spring.

Housing

Housing remains a critical issue in Thief River Falls. Pressure from growing industries has led to a near “0” vacancy rate. Students, who normally want a 9-month lease, are out-competed by residents willing to sign 12-month leases. Fortunately, it appears that the efforts of several community committees and the TRF City Council may lead to new housing developments soon.

At Northland, we have been working to get student-oriented housing built on our campus by a private developer who will also manage the property. The MnSCU Board of Trustees approved the use of college land; a developer has been identified through a Request for Proposal (RFP) process. In the spring, the legislature provided special funding for the development of student-oriented housing in TRF; now, we await the release of the RFP from MnSCU so that the developer can apply for this funding.

As fall approaches, it appears that this building season may have been missed. Hopefully, student housing will be available for the beginning of spring semester, 2016 or fall semester, 2016.

Enrollment – NW Presidents Meeting

Enrollment is a concern for many of Minnesota’s public institutions this fall. The state is recovering from the 2008 recession and people are back at work. It has long been noted that higher unemployment is favorable to college enrollment; low unemployment causes declines in enrollment. Other factors affecting enrollment in our area include lower numbers of regional high school graduates, increases in the North Dakota state grant for ND student who attend ND institutions, and credit limitations on associate degree programs.

On Tuesday, I will meet with the presidents of the University of Minnesota-Crookston and Bemidji State University and representative of the Northwest Minnesota Foundation to discuss strategies to attract more students to our corner of Minnesota.

Have a wonderful first week of Fall semester!

 

Upcoming College Events
Friday, August 29, 2014
• 6:30 pm – , TRF Gym
Saturday, August 30, 2014
• 1:00 pm – Volleyball vs. Mesabi Range CC, TRF Gym

 

My Schedule This Week
Monday, August 25 – EGF
Tuesday, August 26 – Maple Lake, mtg with NM Foundation and BSU, UM-C presidents
Wednesday, August 27 – TRF – TRF Community Advisory Committee, various meetings
Thursday, August 28 – St. Paul – Transition meetings w/ Vice Chancellors
Friday, August 29 – Vacation

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Weekly Update

On a day that finally feels like spring, I am writing my final Weekly Update of the year. It has been a long, long winter – one in which we have grappled with many weighty issues. Now is the time to turn our attention to the reason most of us spend our lives engaged in higher education – our students. The next week will be full of celebrations, accomplishments, and transitions.

Over many years, I have watched students come to the college. Some are fully ready, with certain paths and dreams ahead of themselves. Others are more tentative, wanting to move forward in life but not yet sure of their direction. Some have been displaced from long careers and seek retraining. Others delayed their education after high school for reasons such as finances, family, or other circumstances of life.

Regardless of the path to our door, students change when they succeed in college. The tentative woman, who has raised a family before starting developmental education classes, science prerequisites, and nursing classes, walks across our graduation stage as a new professional, certain of her competence and her future. The veteran who has returned home after a long deployment finds a welcoming campus and support as he pursues a civilian career; he, too, finds new confidence and competence at Northland. The newly-minted high school grad explores the curriculum and decides that a business transfer major will lead to the life they hope for.

In the past week, I have reflected on the many different stories of success and aspiration I have witnessed in our students:

  • I visited with a student from Liberia who is pursuing a nursing degree. He has a dream to return to Liberia to build clinics and teach health professionals in that country.
  • The Occupational Therapy Assistant students conducted a poster session in which they presented their professional research-based solutions to problems as diverse as childhood obesity to elderly rehabilitation. They were all proud of their topics, prepared to discuss them professionally, and dressed for success.
  • The Phi Theta Kappa Chapter at the East Grand Forks Campus recognized its new inductees. These students must maintain a high grade point average and must commit to community service. Their hard work prepares them for success.
  • A veteran who returned to school after his deployment proudly displayed his newly-earned Commercial Drivers License (CDL). He was beaming with the new range of opportunities now open to him.
  • In special ceremonies in both of our communities, new nurses will receive their pins. Northland’s LPN and ADN graduates are well trained to enter the health professions, through their clinical experiences and the mentorship of their faculty members.
  • Our womens’ softball team and mens’ baseball team qualified for regional tournaments that keep getting moved to find the best weather conditions. These students really learn to be adaptable.
  • Nick Dokkin, the Thief River Falls campus “student of the year” has also been selected to the 2014 All-Minnesota Academic Team by Phi Theta Kappa, the national honor society for community and technical colleges.
  • Kortni Miller and Thomas Velasquez, two Northland Physical Therapy Assistant students, recently presented a research study at the American Physical Therapy Association meeting in Las Vegas. This is a rare honor for two-year college students.
  • Northland’s VEX Robotics team (Cody Walseth, Peter Tydlacka, and Nick Radeke) competed in the World Championship in Anaheim CA.
  • Sarah Durand, who led the women’s basketball team in scoring and rebounding, was named NJCAA Division III Player of the Year.
  • Kassandra Klinkhammer, the EGF Student Senate President, has been named to represent the Minnesota State College Student Association on one of eight “Charting the Future” implementation teams. This is a very important appointment; we are so pleased that one of Northland’s students will be on board.

And in many homes throughout our area, parents and friends are preparing to celebrate their students’ success at Northland’s two graduation ceremonies. The Thief River Falls Graduation will be in the campus gymnasium at 7 PM on Thursday, May 15. The East Grand Forks Graduation is scheduled for 11 AM Friday morning, May 16 in the Chester Fritz Auditorium at the University of North Dakota.

Please join in the celebration of student success and transition.

Have a wonderful week!

 

Upcoming College Events

Wednesday, May 14, 2014

  • 12:00 PM – Annual Storm Water Meeting – EGF 301

Thursday, May 15, 2014

  • Spring Semester Ends
  • 12:00 PM – Graduation Rehearsal – TRF
  • 3:30 PM – LPN Pinning Ceremony – TRF Theater
  • 7:00 PM – Graduation Ceremony– TRF Gym
  • 3:30 PM – CNA Class #63- Hybrid
  • TBD – Baseball @ Regional Tourney

Friday, May 16, 2014

  • TBD – Motorcycle- Basic Rider Course – TRF
  • 11:00 AM – Graduation Ceremony – EGF – Chester Fritz Aud. UND

Monday, May 19, 2014

  • Summer Session Starts
  • Last Day to Add or Drop an On-Campus Class
  • Last Day to Add or Drop an Online Class

Tuesday, May 20, 2014

  • 10:00 AM – CNA Testing – EGF

Thursday, May 22, 2014

  • 3:30 PM – CNA Class #63- Hybrid – EGF

My Schedule This Week

Monday, May 12 – TRF – Retirement & Recognition Potluck Luncheon, NAF Board Meeting, Engineering Discussion

Tuesday, May 13 – EGF – Retirement and Recognition Potluck Luncheon

Wednesday, May 14 – EGF – BGEA, Valley Prosperity Partnership Press Conference, EGF Grad Banquet

Thursday, May 15 – TRF – Exec Council, Nursing Pinning, TRF Graduation

Friday, May 16 – EGF – EGF Graduation

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Letter to the Editor – TRF Times May 5, 2014

Dave Hill, Editor
Thief River Falls Times
324 Main Avenue N | PO Box 100
Thief River Falls, MN 56721

Dear Dave,

I wanted to share with the Thief River Falls community the progress we are making on reinstatement of the football program at Northland. Toward this goal, we are assembling a team of people to examine identified issues and to propose recommendations. The team will consist of faculty members, students, community members representing organizations such as Sports Boosters and Jobs, Inc., and college staff members.

Specifically, the goals of the team will be to:

  • Explore options and make recommendations for adequate and affordable housing for students.
  • Assure Title IX compliance in the reinstatement of the football program.
  • Propose avenues for community engagement (internal and external) in support of the football program.
  • Propose ideas for the allocation of resources to assist with the sustainability of the football program and/or other athletic programs.

The group will begin to meet in mid-May. Recommendations will be formulated so that they can be integrated into the college’s Academic Master Plan (AMP). The AMP is scheduled to be completed in December. This timeline will allow the college to plan for the position within which the football coaching assignment will be included.

At the first meeting, the team will develop a schedule, an action plan, and a communication plan that will inform the community of progress.

Thank you for your continuing interest.

Anne Temte, President

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Weekly Update

Weekly Update
President Anne Temte
Monday, April 28, 2014

In the past few weeks, as the snow has retreated and fields are filled with water, huge flocks of swans have visited our area and graced our vistas with their presence. As I drive between our campuses, stanzas from a favorite poem by William Cullen Bryant (1815) come to mind:

All day thy wings have fann’d
At that far height, the cold thin atmosphere;
Yet stoop not, weary, to the welcome land,
Though the dark night is near.

And soon that toil shall end,
Soon shalt thou find a summer home and rest,
And scream among thy fellows; reeds shall bend
Soon o’er thy sheltered nest.

The swans remind me that life is cyclic. Despite our petty human foibles, the great arc of renewal continues. In this Weekly Update, I will share information on

• All-Employee meetings
• Telepresence
• Call-a-Thons
• Valley Prosperity Partnership

 

All-Employee Budget meetings

In the past week, the administration conducted three all-employee meetings to discuss the FY 2015 budget. Almost 70 college employees attended. Many good questions and suggestions were raised. The meetings were held simultaneously in the telepresence rooms at the East Grand Forks campus, the Thief River Falls campus, and the Aerospace site.

 

Telepresence

Speaking of telepresence…. I do hope all of you will have the opportunity to experience a meeting or class session in these fabulous settings. The Cisco telepresence technology is a huge step up from the interactive television (ITV) that we have become accustomed to and frustrated by. In the telepresence setting, individuals appear life-sized and are shown in a broad array across the front of the room. When two rooms are connected, they give the appearance of a large conference table with two tiers. The third room that is connected is shown in a reduced projection until someone at that site speaks. Then the third room becomes the dominant one on the screen and the second site recedes to the reduced projection.

Many of us who have attended meetings in this format actually forget where we were for the meeting.

The connection and communication is so real. In the past with the more traditional ITV rooms, meeting attendees would engage in vigorous conversation in their physical room, often forgetting to include the televised room.

Northland’s telepresence rooms were made possible through the Department of Labor grants that came to us to build our imagery analysis and geospatial intelligence programs. The benefit to the college, however, is much broader. This spring, math and English classes are being taught between campuses and many meetings have been scheduled that reduce the need for intercampus travel. Many other MnSCU institutions are considering adopting this technology. As they do so, more classes can be shared among colleges and unnecessary travel can be reduced.

 

Call-a-Thons

Nearly 35 college faculty members, staff members, students, and administrators gathered last Tuesday evening in Thief River Falls and on Thursday in East Grand Forks to call a long list of potential students who had inquired about attending Northland in the fall. These potential students had come to career fairs, visited the campuses, called, inquired by email or had personal encounters with other students or college employees. Over 1,400 individuals were called during the call-a-thons!

We believe that this type of personalized outreach is an important tool in encouraging students to attend Northland. In the past year, we have used person-to-person calls to remind students of the need to make financial arrangements for paying tuition and fees and have greatly reduced the number of students whose enrollment is dropped for non-payment.

Congratulations to our Enrollment Management team for taking this idea to heart. Nicki Carlson was central to organizing and accomplishing the events.

 

Valley Prosperity Partnership

Last Friday, I was involved in the final foundational meeting of the Valley Prosperity Partnership Steering Committee. A media event to announce the strategies of the group going forward is scheduled for May 14.

Bill Marcil Sr., CEO of Forum Communications, initiated the partnership, with a generous personal gift. A steering committee of 26 leaders from business, educational institutions, and economic development organizations has met periodically for the past years to explore how the Red River Valley – from Whapeton to the Canadian border – can work collaboratively to insure long-term economic prosperity.

A consulting firm conducted interviews with more than 120 individuals. It examined data related to the growing economy, business health, community attributes, workforce, and education/research capacity. Strategic recommendations were drafted and refined through discussions with Steering Committee members.

Stay tuned for more information on this exciting partnership.

 

Upcoming College Events
Monday, April 28, 2014
• 10:00 am – Job Service ND – EGF Commons

Wednesday, April 30, 2014
• 10:00 am – Job Service ND Appointments – EGF

Thursday, May 1, 2014
• 10:00 AM – CNA Testing – EGF
• 3:30 PM – CNA Class #63 – Hybrid- EGF

Friday, May 2, 2014
• 2:00 PM – Phi Theta Kappa Induction Ceremony – EGF
• 1:00 pm – Baseball @ U of Winnipeg

Saturday, May 3, 2014
• 1:00 pm – Baseball vs. Itasca CC – TRF
• 3:00 pm – Baseball vs. Itasca CC – TRF

Sunday, May 4, 2014
• 1:00 pm – Baseball vs. Itasca CC – TRF
• 3:00 pm – Baseball vs. Itasca CC – TRF

Monday, May 5, 2014
• 6:00 pm – Taking Shape: 3D Printing – TRF

Tuesday, May 6, 2014
• 12:00 PM – Boiler Safety & Review – EGF

Thursday, May 8, 2014
• 12:00 PM – Boiler Safety & Review – EGF

 

My Schedule This Week

Monday, Apr. 28 – EGF – Ag Center of Excellence WebEx, Staff Advisory Council, NCTC Foundation Board Mtg

Tuesday, Apr. 29 – TRF – AFSCME Labor Mgmt. Mtg, TRF Chamber Of Commerce Annual Banquet

Wednesday, Apr. 30 – EGF – Catch-up Day

Thursday, May 1 – EGF – Exec Council, OTA Student presentations

Friday, May 2 – EGF – GFREDC Board Mtg, Pres. Legislative Update, PTK induction ceremony

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Weekly Update

What a glorious weekend! Warm temperatures, gently breezes, dying snow piles, and hope for more of the same. The weather moved many people outdoors on Sunday – walking, roller-blading, biking, egg-hunting, and even picnicking. When it gets good up here in the North, we really know how to enjoy it.

UAS Summit

This week I want to relate information about a great event that was held at Northland’s Aerospace Site at the Thief River Falls Regional Airport. US Representative Collin Peterson, a long-time supporter of Northland’s aviation-related programs, convened a summit to explore cooperation and collaboration between North Dakota and Minnesota in the emerging unmanned aerial systems industry.

Nearly 90 representatives of state and local government, business, agriculture, and educational institutions met. We were excited to welcome the Commissioners of Agriculture from both states, Senator Al Franken, state representatives Dan Fabian and Deb Kiel, MnSCU system office representatives, representatives from Senators John Hoeven and Heidi Heitkamp (ND) and Rep. Kevin Cramer (ND), mayors and city administrators from Thief River Falls and East Grand Forks, presidents and/or other representatives from Lake Region State College, University of North Dakota, North Dakota State University, University of Minnesota, UM-Crookston, Ridgewater College, and Central Lakes College, representatives from Minnesota’s Department of Employment and Economic Development and North Dakota’s Department of Commerce, representatives from Camp Ripley in Minnesota, economic development and chamber of commerce representatives, and representatives from ten companies prominent in either aviation or precision agriculture.

The summit began with a press conference featuring Rep. Peterson and Sen. Franken. Their comments set the stage for the day. Both expressed enthusiasm for the potential of the industry and the Minnesota’s fortunate proximity to North Dakota’s FAA test site. They stressed the integration of UAS into civilian and commercial venues and the need to test carefully and thoroughly. Our own Curtis Zoller, associate dean of aerospace programs, delivered a presentation on Northland’s capabilities in aviation maintenance technology, UAS maintenance, avionics, imagery analysis, and geospatial intelligence analysis. He informed the group about the MnSCU system and the strengths an assembled institution can bring to bear.

Participants were divided into four groups for a tour of the Aerospace site facility, seeing the Swenson Hangar, telepresence classroom, UAS and avionics labs, and intelligent classrooms where lectures can be video-captured for later use. Much of the new technological development was enabled by the recent Department of Labor grants.

After a networking lunch, the group reconvened for a presentation by Col. Robert (Bob) Becklund, Executive Director of the Northern Plains UAS Test Site. He related the history of how North Dakota was awarded the test site designation by the Federal Aviation Administration. He predicted that this test site will be the first of the six national sites to be permitted to engage in actual flight research. The cooperation among interested parties in North Dakota and the early investment and focus brought by the state’s congressional delegation were keys to success. He also stressed the tremendous potential for success of collaboration between North Dakota and Minnesota, citing the strong existing relationship between Northland and the University of North Dakota.

The summit concluded with a wide-ranging discussion of interests, ideas, and questions. Minnesota needs to achieve a common advocacy voice for support of this industry and economic development potential. Fortunately, our neighbors to the West have the experience and professional generosity to assist Minnesota in achieving this.

I am deeply grateful to the Northland team for their excellent work in collaborating with Rep. Collin Peterson’s office to organize a truly professional summit. I have received numerous notes from participants congratulating us for bringing about this important conversation. In particular, Dan Klug and Sheila Bruhn worked tirelessly to insure that all of the details were tended to. Curtis Zoller, Jim Retka, Jon Beck, Lynn McGlynn, Clinton Castle and staff were also very important to the success of this event.

I am so proud that Northland can be seen as a regional and, perhaps, national leader. These successes are the issues I want to concentrate on. Please read the accompanying editorial that will be submitted to the TRF Times this week that is dedicated to “Celebrations and Opportunities.”

VEX Robotics World Championship Tournament

Starting Thursday April 24th Northland Community & Technical College’s Robotics Team will be competing in the World Championship – VEX University Robotics Competition in Anaheim Ca. This competition hosts teams from exotic locations across the globe including New Zealand, Hong Kong, Malaysia, Spain, and Thief River Falls, MN. Northland’s team will face 62 college teams in their division.

Northland’s team (ETAS) has been working overtime to design, build and program three separate robots for this competition. The students wish to thank their sponsors: Digi-Key, 360°, and Altoz Precision Mowers. These sponsors helped the team financially in their pursuit of going to the VEX World Championship. Students also fundraised to offset the trip costs. Each of the team members volunteered their time at VEX events at the high school level this year.

Northland granted UAS Certificate of Authorization

Curtis Zoller announced at the Northland UAS Summit that they have been given a certificate of authorization (COA) from the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) to fly small-unmanned aerial systems (SUAS) over agricultural areas in Roseau County Minnesota. Northland intends to use a hand launched SUAS to collect imagery of farm fields for use in Northland’s Imagery Analysis (IA) and Geospatial Intelligence (GeoInt) Analysis programs in order to aid in precision agriculture activities. This imagery will be used to develop useful information for farmers to enhance their farming practices, such as crop health monitoring, pest detection, and increased precision in variable rate applications. The information will lead to more environmentally conservative practices and help farmers be more profitable.

Northland has been working on the COA over the last two years. The COA grants Northland approval from the FAA to fly a small UAS in Roseau County under the following conditions:

  • Prior approval from landowner
  • Fly under 500′ over farm field locations
  • There must be a direct line-of-sight between the operator and the SUAS
  • The imagery collected will be used for Northland’s and the landowner’s educational purposes.

 

Upcoming College Events
Monday, April 21, 2014
• 3:00 pm – Softball @ NCTC vs. Central Lakes College Doubleheader
Tuesday, April 22, 2014
• 11:00 am to 1:00 pm Earth Day Campus Clean-Up
• 3:00 pm – Softball @ NCTC vs. Rainy River CC Doubleheader
Wednesday, April 23, 2014
• 1:00 pm – Baseball @ Rainy River CC Doubleheader
Thursday, April 24, 2014
• 3:00 pm – Softball @ NCTC vs. Hibbing CC
• 5:00 pm – Softball @ NCTC vs. Hibbing CC
Friday, April 25, 2014
• 9:00 AM – Pilot/Escort Driver Certification – TRF
Saturday, April 26, 2014
• 1:00 pm – Baseball @ Fond du Lac TCC Doubleheader
• 12:00 pm – Softball @ NCTC vs. Vermilion CC Doubleheader
Sunday, April 27, 2014
• 1:00 pm – Baseball @ Hibbing CC Doubleheader
Monday, April 28, 2014
• 10:00 am – Job Service ND – EGF
Wednesday, April 30, 2014
• 10:00 am – Job Service ND Appointments – EGF

 

My Schedule This Week
Monday, Apr. 21 – EGF – All-College meeting regarding budget
Tuesday, Apr. 22 – TRF – All College meeting, meeting with TRF Community Reps, evening inquiry calling
Wednesday, Apr. 23 – EGF
Thursday, Apr. 24 – TRF – day-time meetings, EGF – evening inquiry calling
Friday, Apr. 25 – Fargo – Valley Prosperity Partnership meeting, Twin Cities – Founding Flyers Gala

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