Search almost over

A search committee interviewed Lorrie Clemo, the first of four semifinalists for the presidency at Minot State University, on Tuesday on the MSU campus.

Clemo, provost and vice president for academic affairs at the State University of New York at Oswego, has held a number of administrative positions at the university during the course of her career and was also an assistant and associate professor of political science at the university when she began her career. She told the search committee she is student-focused and also believes in the importance of community involvement. Students at Oswego are actively involved in community partnerships beginning as sophomores. One of the things she is proudest of is implementing all the items in a strategic plan for the university.

She said her university is supportive of its faculty through programs. Professors there are able to apply for mini grants of up to $1,000 to pursue projects. The university has also focused on its science, technology and mathematics programs and on student retention, which Clemo said also appears to be a concern at Minot State.

Clemo said she believes in a collaborative approach to leadership, but also knows that it is sometimes important to take decisive action. She told the search committee she also has had experience working with New York state legislators as well as with other educators in New York’s 65-campus university system.

With her children grown, she sees an opportunity to move her career forward and would like to apply her skills at Minot State University.

The search committee will be interviewing three other semifinalists this week following Clemo. Today they will interview Nicholas Piccolo, vice president for student life at Alma College in Alma, Mich. On Thursday they will interview Valley City State University president Steve Shirley. On Friday, they will interview Martin Slann, dean of the college of arts and sciences at the University of Texas in Tyler.

After the semi-finalist interviews, the committee will forward three unranked names to North Dakota University System Interim Chancellor Larry Skogen. The three will then be interviewed by the State Board of Higher Education at its Feb. 27 meeting in Minot.

Search committee members include Terry Hjelmstad, vice president of the state board of higher education and committee chair; Linda Cresap, MSU associate professor of business information and technology; MSU history professor Joseph Jastrzembski; Annette Mennem, director of MSU’s Native American Cultural Center; Julie Keller, administrative assistant for the Center for Engaged Teaching and Learning; MSU undergraduate students Phillip Streccius and Marley Kotylak; Richard Jenkins, vice president for student affairs at MSU; Jon Backes, a Minot attorney; David Reiten, general manager for KX News; D.C. Coston, president of Dickinson State University; Dave Geiszler, vice president of First National Bank in Bottineau; Lexi Kvasnicka-Gates, assistant professor of social sciences at Dakota College at Bottineau.