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  • 2000s

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  • 2000s Timeline

    January, 2000 -- Flora Frick pool is closed after three-quarters of a century. It would be "too expensive to renovate the old pool," explains VP David Crockett. The space is being remodeled for the expanded Post Office.

    February, 2000 -- MSU hires Greg Toutges as student disabilities counselor -- "I want to work with students and faculty to help those who fall behind in classes due to physical or learning difficulties."

    March, 2000 -- MSU's track teams shine at the annual NSIC Indoor Championships, with second (women's) and third (men's) place finishes.

    April, 2000 -- Study finds that commuting students are shunning "smaller and uglier" apartments near campus for new apartments in Fargo. The University considers ways to help locals upgrade rental property.

    May, 2000 -- Graduation in the age of the internet; students will use online ids and passwords to receive their semester grades in electronic form.

    September, 2000 -- Biotechnology program expands as National Science Foundation awards $156,000 grant to professors Mark Wallert and Joe Provost for research on cancer cell formation.

    October, 2000 -- New MNSCU model for allocating funds raises concerns. This formula may "put more of the responsibility for the cost of education on the student," says MSU Student Association chair Mike Redlinger. "With this, students could have long term debt from the cost of college."

    November, 2000 -- Classrooms are enhanced by new software packages (WebCT, Blackboard, D2L) that allow assignments to be posted online and interactive meetings to be held after hours.

    December, 2000 -- Campus mourns the sudden death of Professor Ted Larson, whose film courses have inspired thousands of students for 32 years.

    January, 2001 -- Now officially Minnesota State University Moorhead, MSUM struggles with the new model for funding. "We have to determine the average cost per student for each school, each class," notes VP David Crockett. "The cost for any lower division class is assumed to be the same for every institution. That's a problem with the model formula."

    February, 2001 -- MSUM counselors schedule extra time to deal with students with SAD (seasonal affective disorder), due in part to winter blues, in part to news that tuition will rise 5-7 percent.

    March, 2001 -- Chemistry Professor Nick Kowanko's "Bioglue" (a surgical adhesive based on animal albumin) goes onto the market. The alternative to stitches and staples in surgery has an annual $50 million potential.

    April, 2001 -- Annual April Fool's issue of Advocate features 'President Dub-ya' urging students, "I did drugs and now I'm president; you can do it too!"

    May, 2001 -- Graduating education students at MSUM score nearly 100% success rate in the new Federally mandated Pre-Professional Skills Test.

    July, 2001 -- The venerable Owls fraternity marks its 100th anniversary with a three day celebration in Moorhead. The celebration invitation is classic Owls: "A sun-flavored Friday afternoon; mid-May. Pick a year. While we are cruising the back roads somewhere between Audubon and Detroit Lakes, humanities, history, chemistry, and English classes are collectively being cut. Converting beers to years, 99 is how many have passed since the Owl Fraternity was founded. And come this July-when 99 turns 100-the Owls will celebrate their centennial reunion in grandiose fashion." (click to see further memories about the Owls).

    September, 2001 -- Classes begin amidst strikes by the AFSCME (American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees) and MAPE (Minnesota Association of Professional Employees). Some students join pickets in support.

    October, 2001 -- Students are upset by MSUM's decision to forego the traditional "fall breather" break. Many boycott classes in protest.

    November, 2001 -- Difficulties continue with early snows and unhappiness over crowded computer labs.

    December, 2001 -- Mindful of higher education costs, President Barden proposes a study of a single "flat tuition" rate for all students: "this may help us with out-of-state recruitment,"

    January, 2002 -- Smoking now banned in all dormitories and buildings.

    March, 2002 -- MSUM women take 3rd place in NSIC tournament, a "huge step forward for our basketball program, our first post-season win."

    April, 2002 -- State action in suggesting a 9.75 percent tuition increase for 2003 sends shock waves through campus.

    September, 2002 -- Classes begin with higher costs, and 130 fewer work study jobs, as Federal suport for education declines.

    October, 2002 -- MSUM approves plan for "every state, same rate" tuition. "We hope this will maintain enrollment to about 7500."

    November, 2002 -- Dragons close out .500 season and hope for better football next year. "We're at a disadvantage in sport scholarships, against such larger schools."

    December, 2002 -- President Barden freezes 1% of total budget. "I take this precaution in case of state budget cuts next year."

    January, 2003 -- Minnesota's budget deficit makes tuition rise likely. "We've probably reached the maximum that can be covered by tuition," pleads Barden. "The students are strapped enough already."

    February, 2003 -- State funding shortfalls nearly leads to cancellation of Straw Hat Players for 2003, but funds from a campus work program are transferred by Barden to salvage the season.

    March, 2003 -- Dragons heat up courts as both men's and women's teams are vying for first-place standings in their divisions.

    April, 2003 -- MSUM "Oddvocate" marks April 1 by announcing that North Dakota will legalize pot in 2004.

    May, 2003 -- As graduation takes place, enrollment analysis shows that the "average student" can no longer graduate in 4 years -- "off campus jobs take too much of their time."

    September, 2003 -- Despite a "significant rise" in tuition statewide," MSUM classes begin with a larger freshman class. "Our growth is comforting. Having more revenue is definitely better than less," comments registrar.

    October, 2003 -- The modern electronic world poses new question -- is MSUM responsible if students use University equipment to "share music files?"

    November, 2003 -- The average Moorhead State student debt on graduation now rests at $18,227, double that of ten years before.

    December, 2003 -- MSUM women's swim team wins St. Mary's Invitational meet by over 300 points, partly due to superior diving skills.

    January, 2004 -- As textbook costs keep going up, students turn to internet book shopping in greater numbers. "Last fall the average student spent $285 on texts," notes bookstore.

    February, 2004 -- Moorhead Police give "personal safety" workshop tips at seminars sponsored by the Women's Studies Center.

    March, 2004 -- Campus shocked by death of student who "power-houred" whiskey shots on his 21st birthday. "Everyone's grieving" notes friends.

    April, 2004 -- MSUM Theater department's performance of "All My Sons" draws families of servicemen. "We can all learn something about the costs of military service from this play," says director Jim Bartruff.

    May, 2004 -- The "science lab extension" to Hagen Hall will be completed soon after commencement.

    September, 2004 -- MSUM Athletics seeks more scholarship support from alumni, but football team opens season with 77-12 defeat, and ends season 0-11.

    October, 2004 -- Women's volleyball continues undefeated season and is national ranked in 21st place.

    November, 2004 -- New Rivers Press, acquired by MSUM in 2001, publishes 14 books in 3 years and offers on-campus experience in publishing.

    December, 2004 -- College of Humanities celebrates campus approval of new Film Studies major.

    January, 2005 -- STARs program (Student Tele-counseling Admissions Representatives) allows upper class students to help recruit new students.

    March, 2005 -- Minnesota U.S. Senator Norm Coleman and two dozen other senators lobby Washington for an increase to funding for Pell Grant program. "We need the increase now."

    May, 2005 -- With War on Terror approaching its fifth year, a national study shows that the number of foreign students in U.S. colleges is "continually declining."

    September, 2005 -- Fall semester begins with announcement that construction of the long-sought Wellness Center will begin in 2006.

    October, 2005 -- Is it the knowledge or the diploma? -- alumni debate the value of college on web site.

    November, 2005 -- Campus health staff seek programs to convince students that "power drinking" is dangerous.

    December, 2005 -- While some students condemn pro-life posters and flyers appearing on campus, others defend "right of free speech." 

    January, 2006 -- Dragon pole vaulters Tiffany Spriggs, Derik Brugger, and Jennifer Hensel compete in national NCAA Division II Track and Field championships.

    February, 2006 -- Gay students at MSUM complain that they are harassed at local cafes and bars, and insulted on campus. University looks at strengthening tolerance education via TOCAR (read TOCAR Report).

    March, 2006 -- 2005 Poet Laureate Ted Kooser reads his poetry at MSUM, urges students to "read, at all costs."

    April, 2006 -- MSUM makes "Alcohol and College Life" class mandatory for students.

    May, 2006 -- Classes end with University unveiling new graduation requirements -- standard liberal studies system is replaced by "12 competency areas" in new "Dragon Core" to be implemented in fall.

    September, 2006 -- A "makeover" for Kise dining area gets underway, to be completed in 2007.

    October, 2006 -- Advocate debates the merits of the "writing intensive" course requirements for Dragon Core. "It's not that we all teach writing, but we get students to use writing in their major studies," comments faculty committee.

    November, 2006 -- School begins intensive work on "raising our profile in the region," through a new, expanded web site. "A good site is our tool to highlight how we develop talent and knowledge."

    January, 2007 -- As fundraising for a formal Wellness Center continues, upper class students complain that they are paying fees "for a wellness facility we will never use before graduation."

    March, 2007 -- North Central Association for Colleges and Schools visits campus to examine program and re-accredits MSUM for 10 more years.

    April, 2007 -- As the 9th annual Student Academic Conference is held, other colleges in MNSCU system make plans to copy its success.

    September, 2007 -- Classes begin with announcement that MSUM will be "100% smoke free" come January 1. No tobacco may be consumed or sold on campus.

    October, 2007 -- Dragons celebrate homecoming win over Upper Iowa (31-28) as NSIC proceeds with an expansion that brings larger schools (St. Cloud State, UM Duluth and MSU Mankato) into the division.

    November, 2007 -- Roland Barden announces that he will retire as MSUM president after spring semester. Search for successor begins.

    January, 2008 -- Campus mourns death of Harold "Rusty" Casselton, popular film studies professor.

    February, 2008 -- MSUM sophomore Anthony Batesole awarded Bronze Star from U.S. Marines for heroism during service in Iraq.

    April, 2008 -- Difficulties in upgrading e-mail services have students upset by "large queue of undelivered massages."

    May, 2008 -- MSUM announces that after a national search, Edna Mora Szymanski, VP of Student Affairs at U. of Maine, will be the next MSUM president. (Read inaugural address).

    September, 2008 -- Szymanski, who wishes to be called "President Edna," is faced with possibility of a $3 million budget deficit.

    September, 2008 to March, 2009 -- National economic crisis, triggered by mortgage woes and bank panics, hits colleges; many non-government funders curtail loans for colleges, causing severe retention problems nationwide. Although layoffs are averted, MSUM is no exception to the 2008-12 money troubles (see financial crisis page).

    October, 2008 -- As part of a "brand" development campaign, MSUM administration issues "Points of Pride" literature and engages in a media campaign to expand and promote the college's image for excellence.

    April-May, 2009 -- Red River floods, at higher levels than 1997, threaten to inundate Fargo-Moorhead. Student assistance in sandbagging saves hundreds of homes.

    July, 2009 -- Acting on recommendations from the campus-wide Vision Task Force, MSUM expands recruiting by adding a Twin Cities recruiter, a director of marketing, and a marketing webmaster. Faced with growing competition from Moorhead Tech, Rasmussen College and Minnesota School of Business (later Globe University) MSUM improves enrollment management.

    September-November, 2009 -- University implements "hiring freeze" to prevent budget deficits. Only the "most essential positions" can be filled.

    December, 2009 -- Freshman Josie Green rescues man who fell into the Red River; "I think anybody would have done something to help, because something needed to happen."

    January, 2010 -- MSUM School of Business is accredited by the International Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business.

    February, 2010 -- Music Professor Kenyon Williams is honored as a Yamaha Performing Artist.

    March, 2010 -- Former presidents John Neumaier, Roland Dille and Roland Barden join President Edna in a Founder's Week retrospective of changes in higher education over the previous 50 years.

    April, 2010 -- MSUM students help fight second Red River Flood in two years. Supporters hold 5th Annual Dragon Fire for sports, a flooded ball field ends softball season.

    July, 2010 -- Workers renovating Weld Hall discover a "time capsule" hidden in the building's cornerstone in 1915 (see contents of capsule).

    September, 2010 -- Administration announces that in fiscal 2009-10, MSUM raised greater sums for scholarships than ever before, bringing in $1,058,024 in endowed funds and $369,902 for annual scholarships.

    October, 2010 -- Mass Comm students win Emmy for their TV Documentary, "Inspired by Nature."

    November, 2010 -- University chapter of Public Relations Student Society of America wins 2nd place in national PR competition with campaign promoting "The Vampire Diaries."

    December, 2010 -- Russ Colson, Professor in the Department of Anthropology and Earth Science, is honored by the Carnegie Foundation as professor of the year.

    February, 2011 -- Men's Basketball celebrates 14-8 season, 2nd place in NSIC conference.

    March, 2011 -- After Sodexo Food Service workers vote to unionize, students hold rallies at Kise to support workers who want a raise.

    April, 2011 -- Flood number 3; Advocate comments "Spring weather officially sucks."

    May, 2011 -- 875 students receive degrees, but underclassmen worry about continued rise in costs.

    September, 2011 -- 9-11 memorial gathering combines Tower remembrance with celebration of death of Bin Laden.

    November, 2011 -- Brief flurry of worry as U.S. House nearly cuts Pell Grants programs. Can college costs be stabilized?

    January, 2012 -- The Corrick Center is closed, with Murray Commons to be used for other puroses.

    February, 2012 -- Library and Instructional Technology make preparations for major remodel of Livingston Lord Library.

    March, 2012 -- Sanford Health makes $2 million donation to Dragon Athletics. Much of this will be used for scholarships.

    September, 2012 -- Campus Realignment Task Force considers plans to reorganize academic departments into new colleges.

    October, 2012 -- Task Force is formed to plan 125th anniversary of the University in 2013.  

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