About the President
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President's Remarks & Updates
Vision Task Force
University Reaccreditation 2007
Office of the President
203 Owens Hall
1104 Seventh Ave. S.
Moorhead, MN 56563
Letter from President Edna
Dear Faculty and Staff Colleagues,
Today, I am writing to express my thanks for your hard
work and your generosity of time and spirit over the last several days.
I remain awed at the way in which this campus sprang into action to
serve the community. As the situation returns slowly to normal, I would
like to take a few moments to reflect with you on the last two weeks.
As I told the students in my letter to them yesterday,
my own home was saved by groups of volunteers including students from
MSUM, Concordia, and Moorhead High. My husband and I celebrated our 36th
anniversary this week and gave thanks for the privilege of living here
and being part of the inspirational MSUM university community.
The last two weeks have been a bit of a blur for many
of us. However, I would like to recap highlights of what has happened in
the following paragraphs.
On March 19, we learned of the forecast for a
record crest of the Red River within 10 days. At that time, we moved
into emergency management mode following the National Incident
Management System (NIMS) protocols. Security Director, Michael Parks
became the Incident Commander. He immediately coordinated with the
city and county Emergency Operation Centers (EOC) and has been
attending their daily briefings on a regular basis. Mark Rice jumped
into action coordinating the finance division for the incident and
prepared contracts with the city, county, and others so that we
could recoup costs. Jeff Goebel coordinated the logistics team and
worked to protect the campus and support the emergency operations.
Last week, we operated a volunteer center at
Nemzek for the City of Moorhead. Over the course of the operation,
20,000 volunteers were dispatched from there to various sandbag
lines and other critical needs. Countless faculty, staff, and
students volunteered through the center and other places in the
community. There are so many stories of members of this community
working for hours on end under difficult circumstances to save our
city. For example, Professor Kathy Wise took control of the food
service operation at Nemzek in order to assure food safety. We are
not sure if she slept at all last week. Doug Peters coordinated
Nemzek operations with the Incident Commander.
On Wednesday morning last week, the City and
County asked for help in housing National Guard and other first
responders deployed here from throughout the state. During that day,
teams of staff from throughout the campus took Holmquist Hall out of
mothballs and prepared it to house flood fighters on Wednesday
night. I understand that the wrestling team probably broke some
record for moving mattresses in a short amount of time. Since then,
we have been housing an average of 200 flood fighters each night in
Holmquist and feeding them through extended hours at Kise Commons.
Also, on Wednesday, the City/County EOC asked us
to house their evacuation call center. Our EOC team jumped into
action and worked with IT and others to set up a call center with
appropriate software. It went live that evening, collecting
information from evacuees. The center continues 24/7 and also
collects information from returning evacuees as well as home owners
reporting flood damage to their homes. It is managed by our security
division and staffed by a mix of staff and volunteers who have been
On Thursday, I invited Chancellor McCormick to
visit. He and Don Beckering, MnSCU State Director of Fire/EMS/Safety
Training/Compliance, visited the campus and toured Nemzek, the call
center, and some of the field operations. They were blown away by
the hard work and generosity of this campus community.
On Friday, in anticipation of the river crest, we
closed our residence halls and bused students with no place to go to
Bemidji State University. We also prepared to move critical records.
On Saturday, all operations continued and we moved
critical records stored below ground to higher ground. We also
requested assistance from the Chancellorís Office and received a
back up to our Incident Commander from Minn West and a consultation
on protecting the IT infrastructure. At the same time, we began
preparing for the remote possibility of a higher crest that could
further disrupt operations. Fortunately, that planning was not
On Sunday, the Chancellor returned with Don
Beckering and Vice Chancellor Laura King. They were briefed by
members of our campus Emergency Operations Center and Policy
Advisory Committees, including most Cabinet members. At that time,
we requested relief for the student security workers who have been
constantly on duty since the beginning. By Monday, we had additional
security assistance here from Bemidji, Rochester, Minneapolis CTC,
and Mankato. Indeed, the assistance we have been provided by the
Chancellor, his staff, and the other campuses has been absolutely
On Monday, we met with the Faculty Association and
revised the campus calendar. Since then, we have continued our
preparation to reopen on Monday, April 6.
What you have done here is an inspiration for the
community and for the country. I cannot begin to thank the many faculty
and staff who were here for days, nights, and weekends to bring us
through this challenging time. From the bottom of my heart, I thank you
very much for the privilege of being here with you and being part of
this community. Please let me know if you have any questions or if I can
be of any assistance as we continue our return to normal operations.