NDSU students are the top item on President Dean Bresciani’s agenda. As he took over his presidential duties June 15, Bresciani met student leaders at the Memorial Union. "I could not be more excited," Bresciani said of his initial day on the job. "One of things that drew me to NDSU is its unique focus on students – that is incredibly important to me, and a very attractive feature."
Bresciani is highly regarded for his dedication to students. His nearly 30-year career includes serving as vice president for student affairs at Texas A&M University in College Station and student affairs leadership positions at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and University of Nebraska at Kearney. "I’m a strong believer in shared governance, and I consider the voice of student leadership to be as important as the faculty and staff voice. I plan to take steps to ensure that students are involved, and a voice that is part of running the university," Bresciani said.
During his meeting with NDSU student body president Kevin Black and vice president Shawn Affolter, his first questions were "What can I do for students?" and "How can I best support you?"
Black and Affolter described Bresciani as "energetic" and "passionate," and they clearly liked what they heard. "Dr. Bresciani is so personable and easy to talk to. I think that’s one of his distinguishing traits – he’s going to make people feel welcome when they come to NDSU," Black said. "It’s a very genuine response he gives people, he intensely listens to concerns and he cares about what people say. That’s what we need in a new president."
Speaking with news reporters, Bresciani said NDSU must work to re-establish faith with residents of the state, emphasizing the future and that the institution is on track, working hard to serve North Dakota. "We’ve got to walk the walk. That means getting out, meeting with people and personalizing what NDSU is and what its leadership believes. We need to demonstrate that," he said. "I’m finding that people want to believe that they can still believe. I think we’re going to be pleasantly surprised, in most quarters, to how quickly we can re-establish what people want to know is still here.
"People want us to be moving forward. It’s the future of NDSU that brought me here, and the future is what I’m excited about," Bresciani said. "I’m a fresh start for the institution and the institution is a fresh start for me. We’re going to be able to move forward together; that’s very exciting for me."
Bresciani earned his bachelor’s degree in sociology from Humboldt State University, Arcata, Calif.; master’s degree in college student personnel from Bowling Green State University, Bowling Green, Ohio; and doctorate in higher education finance, with a doctoral minor in economics, from the University of Arizona, Tucson.