Dr. Nancy Erickson named interim vice president for academic affairs

BEMIDJI, Minn. – Bemidji State University President Dr. Jon E. Quistgaard has named Dr. Nancy Erickson as the University’s interim vice president for academic affairs.

Erickson’s two-year appointment began on Monday, July 21.

“Dr. Erickson has served the University well in a number of assignments, and we are most fortunate to have someone of her intellect, ability and experience serve in this capacity,” Quistgaard said. “In this role, Dr. Erickson will have a primary leadership role in implementing the college reorganizations, preparing for the Higher Learning Commission re-accreditation visit, advancing the Academic Master Plan and working to accomplish the University’s mission.”

“There are three very important projects in place at the University right now – the introduction of the new liberal education into the curriculum; Higher Learning Commission re-accreditation; and the college reorganization,” Erickson said. “All of those distinct initiatives, along with the University mission and vision statements that focus our attention specifically on students and their roles in the world, have come together. At this juncture, our planning and our deliberations have brought clarity to our mission; that’s very exciting to me.

“It will be challenging,” she added, “But I know I will have quality people working on these efforts with me. The excellent collaboration this University has from its faculty, staff, colleagues and administrators creates a stimulating atmosphere in which to work.”

Erickson has been with Bemidji State University for nearly three decades, joining the faculty as a professor of German in 1981. She was named interim dean of the College of Arts and Letters in 1997 and has been dean of the college since 2001.

“I’ve had an evolutionary relationship with Bemidji State University,” Erickson said. “With my educational and administrative background, I’ll be able to help the University implement the mission and vision statements, signature themes and reorganization that puts arts, sciences and professional programs at the heart of the University.”

Erickson is a member of numerous professional associations, including the American Association of Colleges and Universities, the American Association of Teaching German, the American Conference of Academic Deans, the American Council of the Teaching of Foreign Languages and the Modern Language Association.

She has traveled internationally for a variety of conferences and presentations and to continue her academic research. Since becoming dean of Bemidji State’s College of Arts and Letters in 2001, she has traveled to China, Germany, Austria, the Czech Republic, Norway and Turkey. These international travels were for a range of activities including conducting research, presenting at international conferences and establishing exchange programs.

During her 26 years as a resident and educator in the Bemidji area, Erickson has also been actively involved in community activities. She has served as president of the North Country Arts Council; has been a board member for the Paul Bunyan Playhouse; a member of the Bemidji High School Task Force and the Bemidji/Northern Minnesota Museum Project; and a member of the boards of the Lutheran Campus Center and the Bemidji Community Arts Council.

Erickson earned her bachelor of arts degrees in German and English from Concordia College in Moorhead, Minn. in 1970 and a master’s in German literature from the University of Minnesota in 1973. She received her teaching licensure in German in 1975 from the University of Minnesota, and in 1989, she completed her Ph.D. in German literature, also from the university.

Erickson fills the vice presidency vacated by Dr. Joann Fredrickson, who left the University’s senior administrative staff to accept a position as an associate professor of business administration. Fredrickson was selected for the associate professor position following a national search.