Dr. John Richman, president of North Dakota State College of Science, will retire from the college effective Dec. 17, 2021, the last day of the fall 2021 semester.
Richman’s announcement came Wednesday, July 21. After 42 years in higher education, 35 of which were spent with NDSCS, he said it felt like the right time to retire.
“I am very thankful to have spent the majority of my career at NDSCS and could not be prouder of the mission-focused institution it is today,” Richman said. “It is the dedicated people and their commitment to our students which makes the college a special place and I look forward to watching NDSCS thrive into the future.”
Founded in 1903, NDSCS has locations in Wahpeton and Fargo. Earlier in July, the college broke ground on the Career Innovation Center in Fargo.
“Dr. Richman has served NDSCS in multiple roles for decades and as president with unparalleled energy and dedication for close to 15 years,” North Dakota University System Chancellor Mark R. Hagerott said.
The University System wishes Richman and his wife Marcia “the very best as they embark on the next phase of life’s journey,” Hagerott said.
Richman, who first came to NDSCS as a student in the 1970s, returned to the college as its head football coach in 1986. His career has included being an instructor in the health, physical education and recreation department, athletics director and as academic and student affairs vice president. For one year, he served as NDSCS’ interim president before being appointed its ninth president by the North Dakota State Board of Higher Education in February 2007.
“During his time at NDSCS, Richman has led the college through innovative and purposeful change, enabling NDSCS to be recognized as one of the premiere two-year colleges in the U.S.,” the college stated.
NDSCS highlighted Richman’s implementing initiatives to expand high schools’ access to career and technical education, improving the college’s fiscal position through budget alignment and increasing the NDSCS Alumni Foundation’s endowment to $28 million.
“(His work includes) diversifying workforce training opportunities, creating efficient and affordable career pathways for students while simultaneously striving to meet the workforce needs of North Dakota and the region, and advancing capital improvements to enhance the learning spaces at both NDSCS locations,” the college stated.
Richman, NDSCS continued, is a dedicated collaborator and advocate of giving back. The college named several local, regional and national organizations he has served with, including:
• as a trustee for the Higher Learning Commission
• several years on the United Way of Richland and Wilkin, and later the Richland Wilkin Community Foundation board
• the National Coalition of Certification Center (NC3) board
• activity with the Wahpeton Community and Fargo-Moorhead Economic Development corporations
“His outstanding leadership has been recognized several times,” NDSCS stated. “In 2016, he was presented with the NASPA Region IV-West Presidential Excellence Award for continually demonstrating his passion and commitment to supporting students’ success.”
Other recognition for Richman include being named a Minnesota State University Moorhead (MSUM) Distinguished Alumnus in 2009, receiving the Associated Equipment Distributors Founders award in 2011 and the NC3 Founders award in 2016. He has been inducted into both NDSCS and MSUM’s athletic halls of fame.
“Recently, Marcia and I realized it was our time to retire,” Richman said in his retirement announcement. “We believe it feels right for the college, our family and for us and we are extremely comfortable with our decision.”
His leadership is coming to an end, Richman said. His passion and admiration for the work of NDSCS employees will never end.
“Let’s remain mission-focused. Let’s remain focused on students, as we always have,” he said.