Inside Higher Education Q&A with the Authors

Check out the new Inside Higher Education Q&A with authors Stephen M. Gavazzi and E. Gordon Gee here.



An excerpt:

Q: You write that land-grant universities should be more “fiercely land grant.” What does that mean?

Gee: In the book, we discuss the immense pressures that universities place upon themselves to be more like each other. This is exactly the opposite of what they should be doing. The higher education system in the United State has been so successful precisely because of its diversity, not despite it. We even see this push for homogeneity affecting religiously based institutions, with the sometimes subtle and other times not-so-subtle message that they should act “less religious.” We think quite the opposite. Catholic universities should be more fiercely Catholic, Baptist universities should be more fiercely Baptist, and so on. Similarly, although there is no formal religion involved, we believe that land-grant universities should be more fiercely land grant in their orientation.

Gavazzi: While we may sound a bit evangelical, this is the same sort of message that was delivered by the Kellogg Commission over 20 years ago when they titled their report “Returning to Our Roots.” It’s a call to get back to our original mission, to place the highest value on meeting the needs of the communities that we were designed to serve.

NORTH DAKOTA’S LAND-GRANT INSTITUTIONS: North Dakota State University, Cankdeska Cikana Community College, Fort Berthold Community College, Sitting Bull College, Turtle Mountain Community College, United Tribes Technical College

North Dakota’s 1862 Land-Grant Institution: North Dakota State University @NDSU

The school was founded in 1890 as the North Dakota Agricultural College. Classes initially were held in classrooms rented from Fargo College. The school was renamed North Dakota State University in 1960 as the result of a statewide referendum on the issue.

President: Dean L. Bresciani was named president of North Dakota State University in 2010. His land-grant credentials include both administrative and faculty positions at the land-grant institution Texas A&M University, a visiting faculty position at the land-grant institution North Carolina State University, and an adjunct assistant professor at the land-grant institution University of Nebraska. President Bresciani also earned a doctorate in higher education finance from the land-grant institution University of Arizona.



North Dakota’s 1994 Land-Grant Institutions: Cankdeska Cikana Community College, Nueta Hidatsa Sahnich College, Sitting Bull College, Turtle Mountain Community College, United Tribes Technical College


Cankdeska Cikana Community College @cankdeskacikana

This school’s origins are traced back to a Lake Region State College program offering a class in Fort Totten in 1965. The program slowly expanded under tribal governance, and the Spirit Lake Dakota Nation established Cankdeska Cikana Community College in 1974 to provide higher education opportunities for the people of the Spirit Lake Reservation, including classes to preserve Dakota culture and language.

President: The president of Cankdeska Cikana Community College is Cynthia Lindquist. President Lindquist’s land-grant roots include her being an alumnus of CCCC, as well as her mother having served on the school’s board of regents.




Nueta Hidatsa Sahnich College

The school was founded in 1973 as the Fort Berthold Community College when the Three Affiliated Tribes of the Fort Berthold Reservation endorsed the concept that a locally based higher education institution was needed to train Tribal members and to help retain the Tribal cultures. At some indeterminant point the school changed its name to Nueta Hidatsa Sahnich College.

President: Twyla Baker-Demaray was named president of Nueta Hidatsa Sahnich College in 2014. Dr. Baker-Demaray’s land-grant roots include her being an alumnus of NHSC.




Sitting Bull College @SittingBullColl

In 1973, the Standing Rock Sioux Tribal Council chartered Standing Rock Community College. The College name was changed to Sitting Bull College in 1996.

President: The president of Sitting Bull College is Laurel Vermillion. President Vermillion’s land-grant roots include her being an alumnus of Sitting Bull College.


Turtle Mountain Community College

The school was founded in 1972 by the Turtle Mountain Band of Chippewa Indians. The school first operated out of a former Catholic Convent, then out of a series of abandoned Indian Health Services and Bureau of Indian Affairs buildings. In 1999, the college moved to a new campus and facilities where it operates today.

President: The president of Turtle Mountain Community College is James Davis. President Davis claims land-grant roots through his master’s and doctoral degrees from the land-grant institution Pennsylvania State University.




United Tribes Technical College @UnitedTribesND

The school was founded in 1969 by the United Tribes of North Dakota. The school was granted candidacy for accreditation status by the North Central Association in 1978, and it received full membership in NCA as a vocational technical school in 1982. In 1987, the school received authority from NCA to offer its first associate degree program, and then in 2003 UTTC became the first Tribal College to receive accreditation for online programs offering associate of applied sciences degree programs.

President: Leander “Russ” McDonald was named president of United Tribes Technical College in 2014. President McDonald’s land-grant roots include his being an alumnus of Cankdeska Cikana Community College, as well as having served as CCCC’s vice president of academic affairs.


2018 APLU Conference Hosts Successful Book Launch Event

On Monday November 12, 2018, leaders from APLU’s Office of Economic Development and Community Engagement and Johns Hopkins University Press co-hosted a celebratory reception for the new Land-Grant Universities for the Future book as well as APLU’s recent efforts to advance university-based economic and community engagement through the IEP Universities program, the Magrath Award for Community Engagement, and other initiatives.