State Board chooses Dr. Douglas Jensen as next Bismarck State College president
Published: Mar 26 2020
The North Dakota State Board of Higher Education (SBHE) chose Dr. Douglas Jensen as the seventh president of Bismarck State College. He will begin his position on July 1, 2020 following the June 30 retirement of current president Dr. Larry C. Skogen.
The board interviewed three finalists at their meeting on March 26. The meeting, as well as the interviews, were held remotely and livestreamed following state and federal recommendations for distancing during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Dr. Jensen comes from Rock Valley College (RVC) in Rockford, Ill., where he has been president since 2016. Before arriving at RVC, Dr. Jensen served as president for the Alabama Technology Network (ATN) in the Alabama Community College System, and Vice President of Economic Development/Chief Executive Officer (CEO) for the Advanced Technology Center (ATC) for Westmoreland County Community College in Youngwood, Pa. He worked at Northcentral Wisconsin Technical College in Wausau, Wis., as the Chief Academic Officer, at Northeast Wisconsin Technical College in Green Bay, Wis., and Community College of Allegheny County in Pittsburgh, Pa. Dr. Jensen received a Doctorate of Education from Edgewood College in Madison, Wis.
“Dr. Jensen has a great background and the right skill set to lead BSC forward into a new era. I am very pleased with the process used to get to this point, in particular the great work done by the Search Committee. I’m looking forward to welcoming Dr. Jensen to BSC this summer,” said Dan Leingang, BSC vice president for Academic Affairs, and Presidential Search Committee co-chair.
A total of 41 applicants applied for the BSC position. In early March five candidates each spent two days visiting campus and in public forums, meeting with students, faculty and staff, and interviewing with the Presidential Search Committee. The Committee narrowed the field to three finalists following that visit. The Search Committee was co-chaired by Leingang and Tim Mihalick, SBHE member.
“I would like to thank the co-chairs of the presidential search committee and all the members who volunteered their time and insight to find the right leadership fit for Bismarck State College; we have gratitude for the hundreds of hours you dedicated to the process. Dr. Jensen’s selection today ushers in an opportunity for BSC to continue serving students, the community and workforce while they navigate the future of BSC as a polytechnic institution,” added SBHE Chair Nick Hacker.
Jensen cited BSC’s mission expansion and the opportunity to work within a unified system comprised of 11 public institutions as two areas he’s looking forward to engaging in. He also noted the strength of BSC’s wide ranging partnerships.