President’s Message

Leadership is built on strong relationships, trust and mutual respect. I am committed to that approach as President of North Dakota State University.

Since I took office on May 17, 2022, as NDSU’s 15th president, I have spent many hours listening and learning from faculty, staff, alumni, students and a variety of stakeholders from every corner of the state. Thanks to the kindness of North Dakotans, and an abiding passion for NDSU, I’ve made many friends along the way.

I’ve learned how vital NDSU is to our state and the public we serve. This student-centered institution of higher education is a driving economic force, a research dynamo and a place of diverse people and ideas. We are widely known for our high standards in academics, emphasis on innovation and entrepreneurship, and excellence in our Bison athletic programs.

Moving forward, I envision five key areas of focus that are based on NDSU’s strategic plan and its core values, transparency and shared governance. They include:

  • Enhancing enrollment, retention and student success
  • Prioritizing NDSU’s R-1 Carnegie classification status as a top research institution
  • Investing in the well-being of the people across the NDSU community
  • Building a stronger culture of diversity, inclusion and respect
  • Embracing NDSU’s critical role as a land-grant university

NDSU is continually evolving, and there are many opportunities to make this place different and better during the next five years, 10 years and beyond.

To help do that, I’ve instituted the NDSU Leadership Assembly, a monthly gathering of 150 department chairs and heads, staff directors, deans, and other leaders. This is a broad cross section of campus and we roll up our sleeves to discuss challenges and have constructive conversations for the betterment of the university. We will collectively determine where we need to go; how we can educate our students to help the region grow and prosper.

There is much work to do and I encourage you to come along for the ride. Together we can move NDSU to the next level of education, research and service.

Go Bison!

David Cook
NDSU President


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