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DC Coston Eval 2013

DC Coston Eval 2013

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Published by Rob Port
The 2013 evaluation of Dickinson State University President DC Coston by Chancellor Hamid Shirvani.
The 2013 evaluation of Dickinson State University President DC Coston by Chancellor Hamid Shirvani.

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Published by: Rob Port on Jun 17, 2013
Copyright:Attribution Non-commercial


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Dr. D.C. Coston, In accordance with SBHE Policy 604.1, below is my evaluation of your progress for the goals that yousubmitted for July 1, 2012 – June 30, 2013.
Goal One -
 Restoring the reputation of Dickinson State University
Your efforts, and those of your colleagues, have been nothing short of remarkable. This includes thecorrective changes you instituted in personnel, policies, and procedures; the report you submitted to theHigher Learning Commission in anticipation of their “on notice” visit to the campus; the reassurancesyou and the faculty have communicated to students, parents, and the public in general; your marketingthrough the media to reaffirm the quality of DSU to your many stakeholders; and the several presentations at AACRAO meetings of the measures you and your staff have taken to rebuild theinstitution’s reputation. I know from talking with Lisa Johnson on our staff that the work the campushas undertaken to restore its reputation has been monumental.
 Goal Two -
 DSU will develop a strategic enrollment plan
I have no doubt that this goal, which follows an in depth examination of the institution’s “footprint,” both regionally and nationally, will produce the objectives you seek. The gathering of demographicdata, the assessment of your program strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats ( SWOTanalysis), should provide you and your faculty and staff with the information needed to strengthenDSU’s reputation among its many supporters—both local and national. By targeting areas of potentialgrowth, enhancing student preparedness, expanding on-line education, emphasizing participation inintercollegiate athletics, and avoiding the pitfalls previously incurred with your international studentrecruitment, and building on the Theodore Roosevelt Honors Leadership Program, you have come along way in the realization of your plan. I was pleased to learn that you taught a leadershipdevelopment class for your TR Scholars. My congratulations for stepping into the classroom. Too fewadministrators take advantage of that opportunity. 
Goal Three -
Fund Raising 
Although we did not have an opportunity to discuss your fundraising goals and strategies for the year, Iwas please to see that the DSU Foundation doubled its funding from the previous year; that you securedscholarship funding in lieu of what had formerly been part of the tuition-waiver support base; that youare taking advantage of the tax credit laws to expand your list of potential donors; and that both theFoundation and the Alumni Association are well into their plans for a capital campaign associated withDSU’s centennial. I note with some dismay that neither the Board nor the Office of the Chancellor has been activelyinvolved in decisions regarding intercollegiate athletics programs within the NDUS. Admittedly, thereis currently nothing in state statute or in Board policy that prohibits or otherwise provides guidance or oversight of campus decisions that utilize state general fund appropriations, tuition revenues,mandatory student fees, or other private funds in support of athletics. In the past, campuses have added 
and removed athletic programs; unilaterally changed conferences and divisional affiliations that havehad direct financial impact on the campus as well as sister institutions; used public and private moniesthat might otherwise have been directed to academic programs and other essential services; usedconference or divisional affiliations to force changes in or additions to capital facilities; and shiftedinstitutional fund sources for the institution’s intercollegiate athletic program—all done without Boardor Chancellor consultation, approval, or oversight.
Historically, the responsibility for policy, decision-making, and oversight of athletics has resided withthe individual colleges and universities, a situation which not only is highly unusual but, from a risk-management point of view, sets a potentially dangerous precedent. I understand that in 2010 there had been some discussion regarding the establishment of a policy giving the Board authority and oversightof Intercollegiate Athletic Programs. To date, however, no policy or procedure has been approved. It isworthy of note that the manner—good or bad—in which an individual campus conducts itsintercollegiate athletics program ultimately reflects on both the institution and the community.
I would hope that this situation will change in the near future. Specifically, the Board should direct theChancellor to obtain from each of the NDUS colleges and universities historical information as well ascurrent planning regarding their respective athletic programs and funding thereof. I would also urge theBoard to consider an annual reporting mechanism be established that would require all the institutionsto report on their plans regarding athletics. 
Goal Four -
 Meet the implementation deadlines of the Pathways to Student Success Plan
I am pleased to note that you have made significant progress in implementing sections of the
 plan. This includes your admissions index, the reduction in tuition waivers, partnership with BSC for helping students in need of developmental/remedial coursework, taking steps to implement the per credit hour pricing of courses, and realigning your dual credit courses. 
Goal Five -
Work with the high schools to ensure that all dual credit courses meet the established criteria.
I appreciate also the efforts you have taken to implement the guidelines outlined in my agreement withthe Department of Public Instruction regarding dual credit course offerings. I understand that all your dual course syllabi have been reviewed; the minimum standards for instructors enforced; that eachcourse now be completed within the timeframe of a semester; and that meetings are taking place witharea high schools to keep them abreast of the full implementation of 
Over the past year I have been impressed with your leadership, the connections you have made to thelocal community, and your attention to the details of the recent HLC visit. You have been successful in building a positive relationship between the campus and the community, much of which had been lostdue to the embarrassing revelations regarding its international students.I am also appreciative of the public support you have given to the
concept and plan.
Most importantly, I am impressed with your efforts to enact standards, your choice of staffing andleadership changes, and the good working relationship you have with your provost. Dr. Pemberton wasan excellent choice and one that reflects positively on your leadership. To your credit, you havesurrounded yourself with good people. For your leadership and overall strong management of DSU I am recommending a salary increase of 4% and continuing appointment.

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