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Chapman raises the bar

As North Dakota State University closes in on goals set four years ago, President Joseph Chapman raised the bar again Thursday by announcing a $74 million capital campaign -- the largest in school history.

As North Dakota State University closes in on goals set four years ago, President Joseph Chapman raised the bar again Thursday by announcing a $74 million capital campaign -- the largest in school history.

During his fifth State of the University address, Chapman said the NDSU Development Foundation has reaffirmed its commitment to a major new fund-raising campaign.

Foundation officials have been visiting with selected alumni to gauge support for projects included in the campaign, said foundation Executive Director Jim Miller.

A more public campaign could be 18 to 36 months away, he said.

The campaign has goals of $28 million for capital projects, including a new College of Business Administration building and renovations to the Bison Sports Arena, and $46 million for faculty and scholarship endowments.

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The foundation's last major fund-raising effort, the $20 Million Campaign, finished about five years ago and $5 million over its goal, Miller said.

Alumni are responding positively to the new proposals, he said.

"Despite the economy and all we hear about it, there's just a very positive reception to what's happening on campus," Miller said.

During his 30-minute address, Chapman revisited the goals he laid out in his first year as president and praised the university's progress.

"In case after case, we are ahead of what I thought to be ambitious projections," he told the crowd of about 300 in Festival Concert Hall.

Among the milestones:

E With 11,623 students enrolled this fall, the goal of 12,000 students by 2006 is "easily within our grasp," he said.

E Research expenditures of $100 million "now seem moments away," Chapman said. The university reported $90 million in research expenditures to the National Science Foundation in 2003.

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E With expanded graduate programs, NDSU will achieve research-extensive status under the Carnegie classification system "within three to four years," he said.

Chapman also changed one of the university's five themes, "Status and Reputation," to simply "Status" to reflect NDSU's rise on the national scene, such as the move to Division I-AA athletics next year and recognition for using higher education to fuel economic development.

After the address, Chapman said he plans to begin meeting again with campus departments to set future goals.

"You always want to have a destination in mind, but you always want to be moving," he said.

Readers can reach Forum reporter Mike Nowatzki at (701) 241-5528

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