- Associated Press - Thursday, October 30, 2014

FARGO, N.D. (AP) - An administrator from a Kansas university was named Thursday to take over as president at Valley City State University.

Tisa Mason has spent the last six years as vice president of student affairs at Fort Hays State University in Hays, Kansas. She succeeds Steven Shirley, who left to become president of Minot State University.

The North Dakota Board of Higher Education interviewed Mason on Thursday in Valley City. The other finalist, Daniel Shipp, chief student affairs officer and dean of students at University of Nebraska Omaha, withdrew from consideration.

Mason had previously served as dean of student life at the University of Wisconsin-Whitewater; executive director of the Sigma Kappa Sorority and Foundation; adjunct professor at Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis; and director of student life and assistant professor at Christopher Newport University.

Her contract is for three years, and Mason’s salary will be negotiated with the university system chancellor.

“As a college administrator, I bring a great deal of passion and energy to my work,” Mason said in her application. “The accomplishments I cite in my resume have clearly been an outgrowth of the dedication of many individuals focusing on mission-driven strategic plans.”

Mason has shown the ability to move organizations “from technical management to adaptive leadership,” Emporia State University President Michael Shonrock wrote in a letter to the board.

Valley City State’s fall enrollment was 1,378 students, its second-highest total. The school had a retention rate of about 70 percent for students enrolled between fall 2013 and fall 2014.

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