MSU dean retiring

Minot State University College of Business Dean JoAnn Linrud said she doesn’t have a grand plan B for her upcoming retirement. However, she does have plans to do all the things she hasn’t had time for during her long academic career.

“I’ll do some things I love, like bicycling, volunteering … I’ll do lots of volunteering … knitting, golfing,” said Linrud, who is leaving after seven years at Minot State. “I have a family reunion coming up in Berlin.”

Linrud said she recently read an article about people who are delaying retirement into their late 60s or mid-70s.

“That isn’t me,” said Linrud, who said she has too many other things she wants to do.

Also on Linrud’s list of post-retirement activities is devoting more time to the Minot YWCA, where she serves on the board, and volunteering at Norsk Hostfest, which has always been interesting to her. Linrud enjoys making Hardanger lace, though she said she doesn’t think her work is good enough to put on display at the largest Scandinavian-American festival in North America.

For her retirement party last week, her staff gave her a Kindle Fire, which she plans to put to use in catching up with her reading.

Linrud is also looking forward to spending more time with her mother, who still lives in Minot. Her father passed away last fall.

Linrud said she will be available as a resource to her replacement, but she also does not want to interfere with the choices the new dean makes. She said she’s confident that the College of Business is in good shape and offers students great educational opportunities.

“It’s as good a business education as you’ll find anywhere,” she said.

Linrud’s colleagues sing her praises.

“Dr. Linrud has contributed a great deal to our university and the College of Business,” said MSU President David Fuller. “She brought with her an extensive administrative experience and strong academic credentials. As an accomplished leader, she possesses a collegial leadership style, a commitment to academic excellence, the keen knowledge and appreciation for North Dakota and the ability to work cooperatively with community leaders and businesses from Minot and our state.”

Lenore Koczon, vice president for academic affairs, said Linrud provided “extraordinary leadership” as dean.

“During her tenure, the College of Business made remarkable strides in forming new programs, strengthening existing programs and stimulating economic development efforts.”

Linrud said she is probably most proud of the good relationship that the College of Business has developed with businesses and alumni donors. Without those relationships, Minot State would not have many of the programs that have so benefited students in recent years.

Under Linrud’s oversight, the Serverson Entrepreneurship Academy was created in 2010 as a result of a gift from Clint Severson, an MSU alumnus and president and chief executive officer of Abaxis Inc., and Conni Ahart. The Entrepreneurship Academy offers students a chance to develop real-world skills to manage start-up businesses. Doris Slaaten provided another gift that resulted in the renovation of the Slaaten Learning Center in Old Main. Linrud said those rooms are in constant use by clubs and business meetings and for student studies, as well as classes. Roger Looyenga’s gift provided funds for a leadership program that encourages student and faculty groups to do community service projects that benefit the community.

Linrud, a Velva native, said she was also grateful to have a chance to come back and share her skills with people in the area. Before she came to Minot State, she had held administrative positions at Central Michigan University, where she was interim associate dean and director of the Master of Business Administration Program. She had also been in faculty positions at Minnesota State University-Mankato and the University of North Texas. She began her career in academia as a professor and then moved into administration.

Linrud said she has felt her life has been blessed by many great opportunities, which she was able to take advantage of.

“I feel incredibly fortunate to come back to North Dakota to work with so many fine individuals at the university and in the Minot community,” she said. “I’m thankful to MSU for giving me the opportunity.”

(Prairie Profile is a weekly feature profiling interesting people in our region. We welcome suggestions from our readers. Call Regional Editor Eloise Ogden at 857-1944 or Managing Editor Kent Olson at 857-1939. Either can be reached at 1-800-735-3229. You also can send e-mail suggestions to