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New NDSU president starts run listening to groups

Dean Bresciani, center, talks with Student Body President Kevin Black, left, and Vice President Shawn Affolter on Tuesday, Bresciani's first day as president of North Dakota State University. Dave Wallis / The Forum

On his first day as North Dakota State University president, Dean Bresciani urged the student body president not to waste time getting to work.

"You need to have started the minute you got the job," Bresciani said Tuesday. "Kind of like being a university president."

He then added, laughing: "Hopefully I'll be here longer than a year, though."

Bresciani officially became NDSU's president on Tuesday, though he has been getting up to speed on the university since he was appointed in May.

The former vice president for student affairs at Texas A&M University succeeds Joseph Chapman, who resigned last fall amid controversies involving spending.

Bresciani said his sense from meeting with people is that they're ready to get over the "bump in the road" and move forward.

He spent his first day meeting with students, faculty, staff, administrators and business leaders.

He talked to Kevin Black, NDSU student body president, and Shawn Affolter, student body vice president, about their goals for the year, which include improving NDSU's academic infrastructure and advising.

Bresciani describes himself as a "high-access person," and he intends to get around the state to meet legislators in addition to getting acquainted with campus.

Kris Mickelson, president of the Staff Senate who met with Bresciani on Tuesday, said she anticipated he'd want to meet with many people based on the impression he gave during the search process.

"This type of planning, this type of getting people involved and being engaged fits my image of what his presidency will be about," Mickelson said.