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Board selects new DSU president

Posted on 9/30/2015

DICKINSON, N.D. -- The State Board of Higher Education today named Thomas M. Mitzel, Ph.D., as the next president of Dickinson State University, Dickinson, North Dakota. Mitzel currently serves as the dean of faculty and vice president of academic affairs, Trinity College, Connecticut.

Originally from Aberdeen, South Dakota, and an alumnus of Northern State University, Mitzel said he is excited to get back to the Midwest.

"In my time on campus, I have been impressed with the enthusiasm of the campus community and the passion for student success. I am honored to have been selected as the next president of DSU. I believe that together we can help DSU build upon its solid curriculum and financial platform while reaching toward a bright future," said Mitzel.

"The Board is pleased to appoint a collaborative leader like Dr. Mitzel to serve as the president of DSU," said Board Chair Kathleen Neset. "He has a dedication to students and the community of Dickinson. His past experiences and his outlook make him the right fit to lead the university now and into the future."

Board member Kari Reichert chaired the presidential search committee that screened applicants, interviewed semifinalists, and forwarded its recommended finalist for the position to the Board.

"The President Search Committee worked hard and deserves recognition for its work, and I'd like to thank Dr. Ozbun for his work as interim president during this time of transition," said Neset. "The committee was impressed by Dr. Mitzel's commitment to higher education and I expect he will do an excellent job leading the university."

Mitzel has served as the vice president for academic affairs at Trinity College since 2013.

Prior to his time at Trinity College, Mitzel spent nearly two years as dean of the School of Sciences and interim director of the Wild Basin Creative Research Center at St. Edward's University in Austin, Texas. Before that, he served three years as an associate academic dean and chemistry professor at Trinity.

While at Northern State University, he participated on the track and field team and received a Bachelor of Science in chemistry. Mitzel then earned his Ph.D. in organic chemistry from Boston College and was a postdoctoral fellow at The Ohio State University.

Mitzel will take over as the 12th president of DSU no later than Jan. 4, 2016. He will succeed Dr. D.C. Coston who retired Aug. 15. Dr. Jim Ozbun is currently serving as interim president.


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