Thank you!

The success of our department rests on the shoulders of our faculty emeriti and emeritae. It is their hard work that has helped us establish NDSU English's reputation for excellence in undergraduate and graduate education. We want to take this moment to remember our colleagues, all of whom worked tirelessly and selflessly for the university. Together, they helped to shape the minds and perspectives of generations of leaders, educators, writers, poets, and artists.

We owe you a debt of gratitude for your many years of service!

Emeritus Faculty

Thank you for your service! 


Bonfield, June
Bovard, Richard
Brown, Muriel 
Cater, Catherine
Cosgrove, William
Helstern, Linda
Krishnan, R.S.
Matchie, Thomas
Maylath, Bruce

O'Connor, Robert
Peet, Howard                       
Shaw, Richard
Strandness, Jean
Sullivan, Dale
Ward, Steve

In Memoriam

In Memoriam, Amy Rupiper Taggart

Dr. Amy Rupiper Taggart, Professor of English, died June 13, at age 43, at Sanford Palliative Care in Fargo. 
Amy was beloved by students and colleagues across campus for her wisdom, generosity, and compassion, and deeply respected for her leadership and scholarship.  

Education and career

Amy earned her bachelor’s degree in English and German from the University of St. Thomas in St. Paul, Minnesota. She earned her doctorate in English, with an emphasis in composition and rhetoric, from Texas Christian University in Fort Worth, Texas.

She joined the NDSU Department of English in 2002 as assistant professor. Over the course of her NDSU career, she played a significant role in shaping programs in her department.


Remembering Amy ...

Her colleagues in the English Department describe her best: “Amy was all that's good in the world and all that matters in life. She was a fierce fighter for social justice. She was a generous, caring, and supportive educator; a wise and loyal colleague; a trusted, confident, and humble leader. Amy stood up for and embodied equity, excellence, and compassion. Amy was love and friendship.” 

A Brief History

A Brief History of the Department (ca. 1890-1999)

The English Department has prepared majors since the beginning of North Dakota State University. Its early importance is underscored by the fact that the building in which the department has had its office was renamed in 1951 for an early member of the department: Archibald Minard, Professor of English and Philosophy who came to NDSU in 1904. Minard went on to become Dean of the College as well, then known as Arts and Sciences. 

The Master of Arts degree in English began in 1954 when Kenneth Kuhn was chair of the department. In 1959, John Hove was hired as chair of English and Modern Languages and in 1962 Catherine Cater joined the faculty and later served as head of the English graduate program. During this period, Lois Hudson and Tom McGrath, both important creative writers, taught in the department. By the late 1960s, a core nucleus of tenured faculty included Hove, Cater, Francis Schoff, Leonard Sackett, Ralph Engel, and Richard Lyons, to which were added Steve Ward, Mary Wallum, Frank Cabral, Howard Peet, Alice Dickey, Harold Dickey, and June Bonfield. Beginning in 1970 a series of young PhDs were hired in the department–Bill Cosgrove and Stuart Hirschberg (1970), Nate Sumner (1971), Tom Matchie (1972), Richard Bovard (1973), and Muriel Brown (1974).

The Bulletin for 1972-1974 lists 16 current members of the department (3 full professors, 2 associate professors, 7 assistant professors, and 4 instructors). At this time the department was housed in Minard 221, the present location of the office of the Dean of Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences, and 223 (which currently houses part of the department). Within a few years, renovation of Minard was begun and the English Department main office moved to a temporary location in Minard 200 with faculty spread out in make-shift offices on the first two floors of Minard Hall. During this period all faculty taught 12 credit hours per quarter, or nine for those who had a large class (usually over 100 students).

In the early 1970s, the renovation of the third floor of Minard was completed and we moved into our present offices, Minard 320-322. This was a time of considerable growth at NDSU and the English Department added lecturers and teaching assistants to accommodate increased numbers of students as well as local and national demands for smaller class sizes in writing courses. Accordingly another of wave of new faculty entered the department in the early and mid-1980s in response to increased enrollments, new demands in teaching composition, and faculty turnover (including deaths and retirements). John Hove retired in 1981 after serving 22 years as department chair, and Richard Bovard took over as the department’s first elected rotating chair.

By this time the tenured faculty was fairly stable though mandated cutbacks were deleting some faculty position from the department as they fell open. Most of the new faculty brought in during the 1980s–R. S. Krishnan, Bob O’Connor, Richard Shaw, and Jean Strandness, have remained in the department. In 1991 Bill Cosgrove was elected chair and he was succeeded by Muriel Brown in 1997. In 1994, additional offices in South Engineering were provided for seven English Department lecturers to relieve crowding in Minard 320-322 and 223.  

The Department of English continued to share its main office in Minard 320 with the Modern Language Department, which became a separate department around 1973. As a result, 55-60 faculty, lecturers, and teaching assistants were supported by one full-time administrative assistant and one part-time secretary. Together with two new PhDs hired–Kevin Brooks (1997) in composition and Anjali Pandey (1997) in linguistics–the tenured faculty in English was nearly all PhDs by the end of 1990s. With the return of another position or two, the department was back to the strength of the 1970s when we taught fewer students, both undergraduate and graduate.

(composed by Bill Cosgrove and Muriel Brown, 1999)

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