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New president selected for North Dakota State College of Science

The business and technology dean from Cochise College in Arizona will take over July 1.

Rod Flanigan.
Photo via North Dakota State Board of Higher Education
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WAHPETON, N.D. — A business and technology dean from Arizona will lead the North Dakota State College of Science.

The State Board of Higher Education voted unanimously on Thursday, March 31, to hire Rod Flanigan as the next president of NDSCS, which has campuses in Wahpeton and Fargo. He will start by July 1.

“I know this is where I want to be,” the Cochise College dean said. “There are great things happening at this community college.”

Flanigan will replace John Richman, who retired in December. The former NDSCS president was with the school for 35 years, including 15 years as its leader.

"I feel like there are big shoes to fill," Flanigan told The Forum after being chosen to lead the school.


Harvey Link was appointed interim president as a presidential search committee looked for a long-term replacement.

Flanigan was one of more than 20 candidates who applied for the job. A search committee chose him as one of three finalists that the higher education board interviewed Thursday in Wahpeton.

“Dr. Flanigan offers unique leadership skills and partnership abilities, which will serve NDSCS well into the future,” said Jeffry Volk, a higher education board member who co-chaired the committee. “I am proud of the work our committee accomplished and those efforts will now be applied through the efforts of the newly selected president of the institution. We found the right leader at the right time.”

Flanigan said he's honored to lead the school. He worked in several areas of the trade industry before becoming a college administrator, and the focus on trades at NDSCS is what drew him to apply for the school's top position, he said.

He said he feels strongly about the NDSCS mission to help students achieve their dreams. Flanigan understands what makes the school and Wahpeton unique, said Terry Marohl, an NDSCS associate professor and transportation department chair who co-chaired the search committee.

NDSCS has great traditions, Flanigan said, adding that he wants to keep the momentum going in building up the school's success.

The other two finalists were former Western Nebraska Community College President Carmen Simone and Jeanine Gangeness, associate vice president of academic affairs, graduate studies dean and CEO for Winona State University in Rochester, Minnesota.

Flanigan will receive a salary of $210,000 a year. Richman made $210,605 annually.

April Baumgarten joined The Forum in February 2019 as an investigative reporter. She grew up on a ranch 10 miles southeast of Belfield, N.D., where her family raises Hereford cattle. She double majored in communications and history/political science at the University of Jamestown, N.D.
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