Message from President Cook 10/7/22

Message from President Cook

October 7, 2022

Good afternoon,

I am writing to let the NDSU Community know about some personnel changes that are occurring on campus.

First, Provost Fitzgerald will be stepping down from her role as provost and returning to her position as a faculty member in the College of Human Sciences and Education.  Provost Fitzgerald has served as both interim provost and provost starting in November of 2019.   She has proven to be a highly transparent, collaborative and collegial leader.  In particular, she helped lead the institution through the pandemic and was a driving force behind the hyflex system which helped NDSU keep its doors open throughout the pandemic. 

Prior to her time as provost, she was the Dean of the College of Human Sciences and Education starting in 2016, and before that, she was a faculty member.  Her commitment and service to NDSU has been phenomenal, and I know I speak on behalf of the NDSU community when I thank her for that service.

Starting on Monday, David Bertolini, Dean of the College of Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences, has agreed to act as interim provost as we initiate the planning process for a permanent provost.  I am committed to conducting an effective national search for a permanent provost.  To that end, I will be starting conversations with national search firms to determine the optimal timing for initiating this search.

We will immediately begin a search for an Interim Dean for the College of Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences.  Dean Bertolini will continue to act as Dean until the interim search is concluded.

Secondly, I’m pleased to announce that Michael Kessler, Dean of the College of Engineering, has accepted a position as the Louis M. Sardella Department Head of Materials Science and Engineering and Professor at Johns Hopkins University.  We are incredibly happy for him as he begins work at one of the most prestigious institutions of higher education in the world.

We will immediately begin the search for an interim dean, and until that search is completed, Dean Kessler will remain as dean.  After that, Dean Kessler will be available to assist the interim dean until he assumes his new position with Johns Hopkins University.

Finally, in light of these changes, I am putting a pause on all searches for permanent dean positions.  We need time to adjust to these changes and to determine the best pathways for these searches.


David Cook, President


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