NDSU's final candidate is no stranger to North DakotaFargo, ND (WDAY TV) - The fourth and final candidate for the NDSU presidential seat made his rounds on campus today. Dr. John Gardner is the vice president of economic development and global engagement at Washington State University. But as WDAY 6 Reporter Christina Vaughn tells us, Gardner isn't a stranger to NDSU, or North Dakota.
Dr. John Gardner spent 20 years in Carrington, raising his three children and working in agronomy at the NDSU station there. He says it's not necessarily the president's job that's drawing him back, but the area.
Gardner says his time spent in North Dakota taught him to appreciate the people, land and university. Since working for NDSU, Gardner has been with four additional land grant universities.
Currently, he works as the vice president of economic development and global engagement at Washington State University, where his job is to promote the university globally, but to also monitor university spending, and how it impacts the community.
If he is selected as NDSU's next president, Gardner says his first order of business will be to start rebuilding the trust that's been lost in the recent building and spending controversy. He thinks a university president should act as a coach, helping other leaders within the university.
“And I think that's one of the things NDSU needs right now. That happens to also be my skills, and it's one of the reasons I was attracted. I feel like I’m a good coach, I feel like I’m a great advocate, an undying champion.”
Once Gardner's visit wraps up today, the search committee will meet next week to forward three candidates on to the State Board of Higher Education. A final selection is expected on the State Board's May 24th meeting, here at NDSU.