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NDSU student leaders thank Chapman

FARGO -- North Dakota State University student leaders want an interim leader who will continue the momentum started by President Joseph Chapman.

The student government passed a resolution Sunday night urging the state Board of Higher Education to name an interim president who shares Chapman's values and vision for NDSU.

Chapman announced on Wednesday he will resign effective Jan. 2. Chancellor Bill Goetz plans to bring recommendations to the board this week for an interim president. He has said he'd like a permanent president to begin July 1.

"The overall idea is we don't want to be taking the university in three different directions over the next two years," said Amber Altstadt, student body president. "We want to make sure there's consistency for our constituents and the university as a whole."

Members of student government also showed their support for Chapman through a resolution thanking him for his service and dedication.

The one-page resolution cited several milestones reached during Chapman's tenure, including an international student enrollment that more than tripled, successful transition to Division I athletics and the expansion of doctoral programs and research.

The resolution also noted that Chapman always made time for students, and he established NDSU as a "university of choice."

"We felt that primarily Dr. Chapman has made students the focus of this university," said Jeb Lockwood, a student senator representing off-campus students.

Student Senator Nigel Haarstad said students would like an interim president who is educated and enthusiastic about NDSU, understands the campus culture and will continue the university's momentum.

Students are planning a "We love Joe" event to show their appreciation at 5 p.m. Wednesday in the Memorial Union ballroom.

Kevin Black, vice chairman of the Student Senate, said the tribute event will include speeches by four former and current students and performances by the Bison Arts Singers and the Gold Star Marching Band.

"The students truly care about him," Black said.