Meet the UND presidential candidates

Six presidential candidates will visit UND campus Nov. 12-21

Six candidates will visit the UND campus to interview for the position of President.

The visits will take place Nov. 12-21, and the Presidential Search Committee will meet Friday, Nov. 22, to select at least three finalists. Those finalists will meet with the State Board of Higher Education on Tuesday, Dec. 3, and UND’s new president will be named that day.

A total of 61 applications were received for the position. The UND Presidential Search Committee interviewed 11 candidates last week and narrowed the field to six candidates.

Former UND President Mark Kennedy resigned from the position in April, after he was named President of the University of Colorado System. Dr. Joshua Wynne, vice president for health affairs and dean of the UND School of Medicine & Health Sciences, is serving as interim president.

The following biographical information was submitted by each candidate and has been edited for consistency and length.

Dr. Andrew P. Armacost, Dean of the Faculty / Chief Academic Officer, United States Air Force Academy

Andrew Armacost

Andrew Armacost

Dr. Andrew Armacost recently completed his service as the Dean of the Faculty at the U.S. Air Force Academy. With more than 30 years on active duty and 20 years at the Academy, Armacost served in the rank of Brigadier General as the Chief Academic Officer for this nationally ranked institution. As a member of the Academy’s senior leadership council, he was part of the team that guided an annual operating budget of more than $500 million and a capital improvement portfolio of nearly $1 billion.

As the Dean of the Faculty and Chief Academic Officer, he had direct responsibility for an annual operating budget of more than $350 million, a faculty of 550, an academic program with 31 majors, and a student body of 4,300. He has been a champion of shared governance, academic freedom, inclusion, student growth, and applied learning and research. The Academy’s sponsored research program of more than $50 million annually makes it the nation’s top-funded research program among undergraduate schools.

Prior to this role, Armacost served as the head of the Academy’s AACSB-accredited business management program, leading 40 faculty members and the Academy’s largest academic major. As a faculty member, he attained the academic rank of Professor while sustaining a particular focus on developing and delivering applied learning opportunities for his students. His additional service to the Air Force has included assignments as the Chief Analyst at Air Force Space Command and as a program manager for systems supporting the intelligence community and the White House.

He has been widely recognized for his disciplinary expertise, academic leadership, and commitment to interdisciplinary learning. His lifetime of work as both scholar and leader earned him recent recognition as a Fellow of his discipline’s flagship professional society and lifetime achievement awards from both the Air Force and the Military Operations Research Society. In addition, he has received numerous teaching, research, and curriculum design awards at the institutional, national, and international levels.

Armacost has been an active member of the Colorado Springs community and in the state of Colorado. He has served on local non-profit boards, as an inaugural member of the governor’s Colorado Innovation Network (COIN), and as founding advisor to the QUAD Initiative, a collaboration between local colleges to craft innovative solutions for Colorado Springs organizations. He has been similarly active in support of academic bodies, including service on the Board of Directors of the Military Operations Research Society and key editorial roles for professional journals.

As a former student-athlete and campus leader at Northwestern University, Armacost is a strong proponent of providing curricular and extra-curricular opportunities that promote growth and development in all students and the opportunity to leverage education for a better society. His degrees include a Bachelor of Science in Industrial Engineering from Northwestern, and a Master of Science and PhD in Operations Research from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

His wife, Kathy, has been a great partner in supporting the Air Force Academy and the city of Colorado Springs. They have two daughters:  Ava, a 2018 graduate of Northwestern, and Audrey, who will graduate from the University of Oklahoma in 2020.

Dr. Robert J. Marley, Professor of Engineering Management; Former Provost and Executive Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs, Missouri University of Science and Technology

Robert Marley

Robert Marley

Dr. Robert Marley currently serves as the Robert B. Koplar Professor of Engineering Management at the Missouri University of Science and Technology.  Marley possesses 34 years of experience in serving research universities, including 23 years in a variety of leadership roles.  These include service as an academic dean, as vice president for student success, and as provost.  University areas that he has had specific leadership responsibility for include faculty and student affairs, college and support programs, research and sponsored programs, technology transfer, distance and on-line programs, libraries, enrollment management, registrar, financial aid, and even briefly Division I athletics.

In these capacities, Marley has a successful record of enhancing student and faculty success, prestigious national and international awards, increases in enrollment and retention, research growth, increases in faculty and student diversity, and significant growth of private support.  He has helped garner approximately $115 million in new private, state and federal support for professorships, programs and facilities.  Other results include the creation of a new College structure, with the appointment of founding academic deans, as well as the creation of a comprehensive support program for faculty excellence, at S&T.   His efforts on behalf of both S&T and Montana State helped lead to enhanced profiles for both institutions, including the ascent of MSU to the R1 classification (very high research activity) of the Carnegie rankings, initially in 2006.

Marley began his professional career as a rehabilitation engineering technician at the Cerebral Palsy Research Foundation, where he helped design adaptive technologies for severely disabled adults.  In 1990, he joined Montana State University-Bozeman in the Mechanical and Industrial Engineering Department.  He went on to hold positions as Associate Dean, and then Dean of the College of Engineering, and later as Vice President of Student Success.  From 2014 to 2019, Marley served as the Provost and Executive Vice Chancellor at the Missouri University of Science and Technology in Rolla.

In 2012, Marley was selected as a Fellow in the prestigious American Council on Education (ACE) Fellows Program for leadership development, where he was placed at Texas A&M University in College Station.  Among other activities, he studied models of relationships between a flagship public research university and other state campuses operating in a mission-diverse system.

In his faculty role, Marley pursued research questions in ergonomics and human factors engineering, work-related cumulative trauma injury and performance.  He is author of over 100 publications with impact in ergonomics, engineering and safety-related disciplines, and has several citations in key federal compendiums in these areas.  In the role of Koplar Professor, he examines leadership development issues in complex organizations, particularly for under-represented minorities.  Marley has garnered local and national awards as a faculty mentor and has co-authored a widely used textbook, including a Spanish language edition.

Marley holds a PhD in Industrial Engineering from Wichita State University, where he was also awarded the University’s highly selective Boeing Fellowship (1988 to 1990).  His Bachelors and Masters degrees are also from Wichita State.  He and his wife, Margaret Maben, who holds a BS in Microbiology, reside in Rolla, Missouri, where they enjoy many outdoor activities together.

Dr. Laurie A. Stenberg Nichols, Interim President, Black Hills State University; Former President, University of Wyoming

Laurie Stenberg Nichols

Laurie Stenberg Nichols

Dr. Laurie Stenberg Nichols is a native of Colman, South Dakota, and received her Bachelor of Science in secondary education from South Dakota State University.  Advanced degrees include a Master of Education in Vocational and Adult Education from Colorado State University and PhD in Family & Consumer Sciences Education/Family Studies from Ohio State University.

Nichols has taught at the secondary and post-secondary levels in South Dakota, Colorado, Nebraska, Ohio, Idaho and Iowa.  She has received numerous teaching and research awards for her innovative teaching, including her involvement in the creation of a 10-state, collaborative, on-line program called the Great Plains IDEA.  From 1994-2009, she served as Dean of the College of Family and Consumer Sciences at South Dakota State University. In this capacity, Nichols provided campus leadership on several initiatives including diversity, particularly involving Native Americans, academic advising, and strategic planning. She has secured numerous grants to collaborate with South Dakota tribal colleges in the areas of articulation and curriculum development.

Nichols was an American Council on Education (ACE) Fellow, class of 2006-2007, where she spent fall semester on the campus of California State University at Fresno under the mentorship of President John Welty.  From August 1, 2008 through mid-June 2009, Nichols served as Interim President at Northern State University in Aberdeen, South Dakota.  On June 22, 2009, she returned to her home campus at South Dakota State University as Provost and Executive Vice President for Academic Affairs, a position she held until 2016.  During her service as Provost, she led efforts to strengthen shared governance on campus, revised tenure and promotion standards and processes, developed a first-year experience with a goal of improving retention, developed a comprehensive classroom/learning environment plan, and secured first-time accreditation for several programs, among many other efforts.

On May 16, 2016 through June 30, 2019, Provost Nichols became the 26th President of the University of Wyoming, and the first woman to hold this post.  During her three-year leadership, Nichols led the implementation of a major budget reduction, developed a new five-year strategic plan for the university, supported the successful submission of 5-year EPSCoR grant for Wyoming, increased enrollment, created an Honors College and worked tirelessly to improve the University’s relationship with two tribes located on the Wind River reservation.  Significant campus facility improvements were completed, including a $100 million engineering building and a $45 million athletic performance facility, with planning underway for $300-400 million residential hall/parking/food service project.

Nichols is currently serving in a one-year interim position as President of Black Hills State University, a public, comprehensive, undergraduate institution located in the Black Hills of South Dakota.

Nichols is a member of the Board of Trustees for the Barry Goldwater Scholarship.  She is past-chair of South Dakota Voices for Children, a political advocacy group.  She was a founding member of the Board that created the Brookings Boys and Girls Club and has served on many other community and civic boards/councils.

Nichols is passionate about working with young people in solidifying educational and career goals and developing leadership skills.

Dr. David V. Rosowsky, Professor of Civil and Environmental Engineering; Former Provost and Senior Vice President, University of Vermont

David Rosowsky

David Rosowsky

Dr. David V. Rosowsky, Professor of Civil and Environmental Engineering, concluded six years of service as Provost and Senior Vice President at the University of Vermont in May 2019. Prior to joining UVM as provost, Rosowsky served as the 15th Dean of Engineering at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, and before that as Head of the Zachry Department of Civil Engineering at Texas A&M University, where he also held the A.P. and Florence Wiley Chair in Civil Engineering.

In addition to serving as chief academic officer, the provost served as the chief budget officer for the university.

Since 1990, Rosowsky has conducted research in the areas of structural reliability, performance of wood structural systems, design for natural hazards, stochastic modeling of structural and environmental loads, and probability-based codified design. He currently serves on the Editorial Board of two journals, and is a past editorial board member of three others.

Rosowsky has authored or co-authored nearly 300 papers. He has been invited to present his research work around the world, and is the recipient of the ASCE Walter L. Huber Research Prize, the T.K. Hseih Award from the Institution of Civil Engineers (UK), and the ASCE Norman Medal.

Rosowsky maintains an active research program. He is a member of numerous editorial boards, national technical committees, is a registered Professional Engineer, and holds the rank of Fellow of the American Society of Civil Engineers and Fellow of the Structural Engineering Institute.

Rosowsky is widely recognized for his breadth of knowledge about U.S. Higher Education, and is frequently invited to speak on the topic.

Rosowsky is described as data-informed, inclusive, and outcomes-driven. He has demonstrated a broad and deep understanding of complex organizations, as well as the ability to communicate complexity, challenge, opportunity, and risk to broad audiences. He is inclusive in formulating both strategy and decision, he takes responsibility for outcomes, and he makes timely and responsive changes in direction when needed. He is widely regarded as an effective communicator and has demonstrated an unwavering commitment to transparency.

In each of his progressively larger leadership roles, Rosowsky has successfully built mandates, changed cultures, articulated a strategic plan based on shared goals and shared commitment, excited and engaged constituencies, and achieved measurable progress and growth. In all cases, this has started with a period of active listening and learning. He reported regularly to faculty and staff, students, alumni, university leadership, and others on progress and plans. Highly visible on campus and in the community, and known for his passion and enthusiasm, he is frequently introduced as the “cheerleader in-chief” or the “chief optimism officer” at UVM. He maintains an active Twitter profile (@DavidRosowsky) to connect with students, alumni, faculty and staff, and community members.

With a record of leadership built on relationships, respect, and shared vision, Rosowsky loves to learn, loves to laugh, and loves what he does. He frequently reminds colleagues of the privilege they enjoy of working in the noblest of professions – the education of young people – and how fortunate they are to be doing what they love, in an intellectually stimulating and supportive environment. He often closes his remarks with these words: “Support one another and expect great things. You won’t be disappointed.”

Dr. Chuck Staben, Professor of Biology; Former President, University of Idaho

Chuck Staben

Chuck Staben

Dr. Chuck Staben served as President of the University of Idaho from March 2014 to June 2019. During his tenure at U of I, the university excelled in its mission for student success, research, and community impact, achieving new highs in student retention and graduation, a 25 percent increase in extramural research funding, and record fundraising.

Under Staben’s leadership, the state of Idaho instituted a novel Direct Admissions process to facilitate college-going among Idaho residents. Collaborating with the governor, State Board of Education, and Legislature, Staben initiated increases in need-based financial aid for all Idaho students by 50 percent. Staben also led the doubling of cohort sizes for Idaho residents in U of I’s WWAMI Medical Education Program and the development of all new medical education facilities. The university’s College of Law expanded its reach to a full three-year program in Boise in addition to the established program on the home campus in Moscow.

In addition to increased research funding, changes in intellectual property and contracting practices deepened the University’s relationships with high-technology industries. Novel licensing agreements enhanced revenue and relationships with industry. The University also broadened participation in research and scholarship by creating a successful office of undergraduate research and a popular series of “5-minute” interdisciplinary seminars.

Staben’s diversity work was assisted by active engagement with the Native American Advisory Council and by the Latino Advisory Council he established. Staben’s work to provide in-state tuition to regional tribal members and distance education in fisheries management to serve tribal needs was recognized by honor blankets and ceremonies from regional tribes. The Latino Advisory Council improved community college transfer processes and established the Caminos al Futuro grade 8-12 pathways programs, for which Staben was recognized by the Idaho Commission on Hispanic Affairs as its “Friend of the Year” in 2016.

Staben led a $52 million arena and events center project from planning, to fundraising, to groundbreaking. The arena, the university’s first major new Athletics facility since 1976, is a novel, engineered mass-timber project undertaken in collaboration with Idaho’s forest products industries. A major research dairy plan also developed during his tenure moved from design, to fundraising, to securing site locations.

Staben’s innovation was recognized by his invitation to membership on the Council on Competitiveness. His leadership stems from a passion for the mission of higher education and a belief in the unique role of public research universities to change lives, lead discovery and innovation, and foster success for their communities.

Prior to serving as President at the University of Idaho, Staben was Provost at the University of South Dakota from 2009 to 2014. USD saw record enrollment, rapid growth in distance education, a dramatic increase in retention and graduation rates, and a doubling of extramural research in the Provost area. Staben began his career at the University of Kentucky as a biology professor, becoming department chair, Associate Vice President for Research, and serving as Acting Vice President for Research, overseeing a $250 million research effort.

Staben was born in Waukegan, Illinois and received his Bachelor of Science in Biochemistry at the University of Illinois, and a PhD in Biochemistry at the University of California-Berkeley. He held postdoctoral fellowships at Chiron Corporation, a successful biotechnology startup, and at Stanford University. He has held research grants from the National Institutes of Health; the National Science Foundation, including a Course and Curriculum Development grant; and other agencies. Chuck and his wife, Dr. Mary Beth Staben, a practicing physician, have three adult children.

Dr. Paul J. Tikalsky, Dean, College of Engineering, Architecture and Technology, Oklahoma State University

Paul Tikalsky

Paul Tikalsky

Dr. Paul Tikalsky is Dean of the College of Engineering, Architecture and Technology at Oklahoma State University, a public multi-campus Carnegie R1 institution with a $1.1 billion annual budget serving more than 24,000 students.  He is an award winning educator who is internationally known for his research in high performance and sustainable materials.  Dr. Tikalsky has extensive transformational leadership experience at Big 10, Pac 12 and Big 12 universities.  He also served on the athletic councils at these universities; chairing the finance committee at OSU and the entire council at Penn State.  Under his 8 years of continuous leadership at OSU, the college has exceeded the goals of its strategic plans by hiring 70 new faculty, raising more than $120 million to support scholarship, faculty and facilities, and increasing retention, graduate rates and admission standards.  He has engaged an industry-led strategic advisory council, faculty and student leaders to transform education, research, and outreach programs with interdisciplinary, entrepreneurial, and humanities components.

He serves on the National Academies/DoD Roundtable linking the nation’s major research universities and DoD Basic Science Office to enhance research partnerships. He holds a DoD secret-level security clearance. Under his leadership the university launched the multi-million dollar Unmanned Systems Research Institute and new programs in Petroleum Engineering and Material Science.  During a time of a 25 percent state budget rescission, Tikalsky implementation of a new fiscal model that included annual merit raise programs for faculty and staff and pay equity based on performance reviews.  He built a faculty leadership team and advisory council that implemented workload models which resulted in a 50 percent increase in research expenditures, 70 percent increase in extension funding, and an increase in undergraduate degrees by 80 percent.  Tikalsky launched a wireless platform for the entire college, its classrooms, labs and offices.  The cost savings were reinvested into modern studio and HD classrooms throughout the college.  On-going savings fund free nightly tutoring programs for all freshman and sophomore courses.

Tikalsky is accelerating change through the interdisciplinary hands-on ENDEAVOR lab initiative, Grand Challenges Scholars Program, and his leadership in creating an ASEE recognized model for Diversity & Inclusion program.  He leads efforts to engage faculty, students, and companies to invest in the transformational pedagogical ideas that increase the number of Native American, Hispanic and female STEM mentors and degrees. His drive to enlist tribal communities and leaders now creates the most native American engineering graduates in the nation.  He is an elected Fellow of two professional societies and a foreign member of the National Academy of Engineering of the Czech Republic.

Dr. Tikalsky is from rural Wisconsin and he is a first generation graduate of the University of Wisconsin at Madison.  He has M.S. and Ph.D. degrees from the University of Texas at Austin.  Dr. Tikalsky was a Professor at Penn State University where he served as the Deputy Director of the Larson Transportation Institute. At the University of Utah, he served as Head of the Department of Civil, Environmental (and Nuclear) Engineering; leading the department to triple its research funding in 6 years and expanding the faculty and enrollment by 40 percent.  His more than $11 MM in extramurally funded research programs have led to more than 110 peer reviewed technical papers with students in areas such as geothermal building design, simulation based applied mathematics, and the beneficial use of millions of tons of coal combustion by-products.