Section 100: General

Lake Region State College was born of the junior college movement that began during the 1930’s. The Depression made the cost of attending distant colleges prohibitive. Lawmakers recognized the need for educational access and began implementing legislation supportive of community-based junior colleges. By 1940 any public school district could establish a junior college.

The Devils Lake Public School District was quick to act. In the fall of 1941 the Devils Lake Junior College and Business School was officially established in accordance with the new legislation. Thirty-eight students were enrolled that first year, and classes were held in the Pershing Building attached to the high school. The College developed gradually over the next two decades into a small, junior college with a liberal arts orientation supplemented by a few business courses.

The College was entirely financed by local taxation and tuition revenues until 1960. At that time the North Dakota legislature began granting state aid on a per-student basis to junior colleges which met the standards of the State Board of Higher Education and enrolled one hundred or more students. The availability of state funds triggered a dramatic change in the Institution’s mission and scope. The Community College Foundation tackled the task of increasing enrollment to a level that would allow access to state funding by raising money for student scholarships. The academic-transfer program was expanded and improved to meet standards which would enable students to transfer their credits to baccalaureate degree programs in most four-year colleges and universities. A variety of vocational-technical programs was introduced in response to changing regional economic needs.

These changes led to enrollment growth, and suitable classroom space soon became difficult to find. A building program was inevitable. The College moved to its present campus in 1966 -- a one-story, two building complex. Since then there have been several additions to the original structures. Housing for students with families was constructed (Gilliland Hall), and a new vocational workshop complex was commissioned in 1977 (Erlandson Building).

Throughout its colorful history, Lake Region State College has had several names, each reflecting a different time and focus. In 1963 the name was changed from “Devils Lake” to “Lake Region” Junior College to emphasize the regional focus of its educational services. In 1981 the name was changed again. This time the word “junior” was changed to “community” to read Lake Region Community College. The “community college” designation more clearly identified the Institution’s mission -- to provide academic-transfer programs, vocational-technical programs, and community education programs.

On July 1, 1984, following a state-wide referendum vote, the College became a full member of the State system of higher education. For a two-year transition period the College was place under supervision of the North Dakota State College of Science.

Management was then assigned to the University of North Dakota, and the College was renamed University of North Dakota-Lake Region in April, 1987.

On July 1, 1999 UND-Lake Region became Lake Region State College. The governor signed a bill changing the governance of the College to independent status under the North Dakota University System with a new mission of providing workforce training to the Northeast quadrant of the state.

Lake Region State College is dedicated to serving the educational needs of North Dakotans. It has a special commitment to the people of the Lake Region, an eleven-county area surrounding the city of Devils Lake in northeastern North Dakota. Lake Region State College is accredited by the North Central Association of Schools and Colleges (NCA) and is a member of the American Association of Community and Junior Colleges (AACJC).

College programs and services are financed primarily by state funds, supplemented by student tuition and fees and private and public grants and gifts. The Community College Foundation is dedicated to the advancement of the College and uses its resources to support scholarships, construction and curriculum projects, and athletic and staff development programs.

Historical Highlights

1941 Devils Lake Junior College and Business School established with thirty-eight students registered. The College was located in the Pershing Building, the original high school building constructed in 1914.
1941 May 28 – First graduating class: Katherine Genevieve, Margaret Lovelle Woll.
1941-1959 Average annual enrollment for these years was forty-nine students, the highest being seventy-seven full-time students during 1947/48.
1946-1947 A good model of the College’s functioning in the first two decades: There were sixty-three full-time students almost equally divided between business and liberal arts programs. An additional forty-two students were in the aviation program and sixteen students attended night classes. Sixteen students from the St. Mary’s Hospital Nurses Training Program took academic courses at the College.
1959 Community College Corporation established to support development of the college. State aid to two-year colleges was approved at two hundred dollars per full-time student.
1960 Permission was received to acquire seventy acres of state-owned land to build a new campus. The College was now known as Lake Region Junior College.
1965-1966 Enrollment now stood at 305 full-time students. The College moved to its new campus after having held classes in various places, including the Masonic Temple, Mercy Hospital, the vacated Weather Bureau Building, and the American Legion dining room.
1967-1978 A period of growth and development: Gilliland Hall was built (1973) and the Erlandson Building was added (1977). State aid was increased substantially.
1981 The college was re-christened Lake Region Community College.
1983 The Community College Foundation launched a major fund drive to raise an Endowment Fund by 1986. Contributions and pledges for over 200,000 dollars were received by May 1, 1985. This brings to over one million dollars the contribution of the local community in support of the College since the Foundation was established in 1959.
1984 Governance of the College was assumed by the North Dakota State Board of Higher Education.
April 2, 1987 The College was re-named University of North Dakota-Lake Region and established as a branch campus of the University of North Dakota.
1991 Lake Region State College’s 50th Anniversary Celebration. See UND-Lake Region 1941-1991: A History, A Mission, A Vision by Doris Greenleaf.
September 19, 1995 Paul Hoghaug Library Renovation completed.
November 15, 1996 Chautauqua Gallery dedication.
April 20, 1997 UND-Lake Region declared an official state, county, and Red Cross Evacuation Center. More than 4,000 people from Grand Forks made their way to UND-Lake Region to register due to the Grand Forks Red River flood.
April 1999 The North Dakota Legislature appropriates a $500,000 match towards the UND-Lake Region Auditorium Renovation Project. The Community College Foundation raised the other $500,000 for this one million dollar project.
July 1, 1999 UND-Lake Region was awarded independent status and renamed Lake Region State College. The College was assigned a new mission to provide workforce training for the Northeast quadrant of the state.
December 2000 Held a grand-opening for newly refurbished Robert Fawcett Auditorium.
2001 Received a ten year re-accreditation from North Central Association of Colleges and Secondary Schools.
June 30, 2003 Year-end count of students served was 2,737.
April 2004 Held grand opening for Leever's Welcome Center.


Chief Executive Officers

1947-1959 Mr. F.H. Gilliland, Superintendent - Dean1
Mr. H.L. Woll, Director of the College (1941-1950) and Director of Business School (1941-1954)
Mr. F.R. McKenna, Director of Liberal Arts (1950-1951)
Mr. N.M. Lillehaugen, Director of Liberal Arts (1951-1952)
Mr. Julian Rolzinski, Director of Liberal Arts (1952-1958)
1959-1967 Mr. Clarence Erlandson, Superintendent - President2
Mr. F.H. Gilliland, Dean of the College (1959-1961)
Mr. Richard Davison, Dean of th College (1961-1962)
Mr. Merril Berg, Dean of the College (1962-1967)
1967-1975 Mr. Merril Berg, President
1975-1976 Mr. Clarence Laber, Acting President
1976-1979 Dr. Merril Berg, President
1979-1983 Dr. Dennis Michaelis, President
1983-1984 Dr. Richard Kunkel, Acting President
1984-1985 Dr. William Taylor, President
1985-1987 Dr. Claire T. Blikre, President, North Dakota State School of Science
Mr. James A. Horton, Executive Dean
1987-1992 Dr. Thomas Clifford, President, University of North Dakota
1992-1999 Dr. Kendall Baker, President, University of North Dakota
Dr. Sharon Etemad, Executive Dean
1999-2008 Dr. Sharon Etemad, President, Lake Region State College
2008-2012 Dr. Mike Bower, President, Lake Region State College
2012-Present Dr. Doug Darling, President, Lake Region State College


1 1941-1967: The Superintendent of the Devils Lake Public School District was the chief executive officer for the College during these years.
2 In 1967 the administration of the College was assumed by a President reporting to a local Board of Trustee.


  1. Philosophy: The College believes that both the student and society benefit from the development of the students’ mental, aesthetic, social, and physical abilities. College life at Lake Region state College provides a student-centered environment in which students can establish and attain personal and career goals in a fast-changing world economy by supplying opportunities for creative thinking, hands-on experience, acquisition of knowledge and competencies, along with activities that foster personal development. Lake Region State College responds to the educational and economic development needs in the regional service area, the state of North Dakota, and the global community.
  2. Mission: "We enhance lives and community vitality through quality education." Lake Region State College is a student-centered, open access, comprehensive community college within the North Dakota University System. The College provides quality academic education, career and technical education, workforce training, educational outreach opportunities, and life-long learning.
    1. Academic Education: Provides academic courses and programs that lead to an Associate in Arts or Associate in Science degree, meet the North Dakota University System General Education requirements, and allow for seamless transfer to baccalaureate-granting institutions.
    2. Career and Technical Education: Provides courses and programs in vocational and technical career training that lead to a certificate of completion, a certificate, a diploma, or an Associate in Applied Science degree preparing students for an immediate career, advancement in specific occupations or transfer to a baccalaureate program.
    3. Workforce Training: Develops linkages with business, industry and organizations to encourage economic development.
    4. Educational Outreach Opportunities: Provides educational outreach opportunities for individuals who are time and/or place-bound.
    5. Life-long Learning: Provides opportunities for continuing and life-long learning in the form of cultural, educational, occupational, social, and athletic programs and courses.
    6. Lake Region is committed to being a responsive diverse institution which prepares students for successful living and responsible citizenship in a rapidly changing local, national, and world community.
  3. Core Values: These are Core Values of Lake Region State College.
    1. LRSC values learning, continuous, life-long learning for the enrichment and advancement of human beings.
    2. LRSC values excellence in teaching, learning, scholarship, professionalism, leaderships, and service.
    3. LRSC values integrity in all institutional, personal, academic, legal, and ethical practices.
    4. LRSC values service, responsive, personal and accessible for all.
    5. LRSC values cooperation, respectful, supportive collaboration with all constituencies for the strengthening of all.
    6. LRSC values diversity, respecting the differences between groups and individuals that enrich and strengthen all.


Administrative Council Approved 100.02 (3) 08/21/01
Administrative Council Approved 100.02 (2) 07/17/2020

  1. Academic Affairs Mission
    1. Academic Affairs provides an academic leadership support system for the delivery of on- and off-campus instruction of the highest quality. The mission of Academic Affairs at Lake Region State College encompasses leadership, management, support, and informational services which include the following functions: Computer Services, Continuing Education, Workforce Training, Interactive Video Network, Academic Skills Center, Adult Basic Education, Library and Media Services.
    2. In addition, the Academic Affairs area provides leadership and support for course development and delivery; provides assistance to faculty in their effort to deliver instruction; procures outside resources and recognition for faculty and students; delivers community and inter-institutional courses; maintains institutional computer networks and systems; provides for the professional development of faculty and staff, and manages institutional records and reporting requirements.
    3. The Academic Affairs area provides leadership and support to instructional faculty, who are divided into three divisions which have the following missions:
      1. Academic Division Mission: The Academic Division focuses on the student, providing high-quality, accessible educational opportunities in the liberal arts. The Division strives to maintain an educational environment in which students learn to think critically and creatively and express themselves cogently, broadening their understanding of life and their ability to function successfully in a complex and changing society to their full potential.
      2. Career and Technical Education Division Mission: The Career and Technical Education Division offers various specialized programs. The Division frequently assesses industry trends and standards and alters curriculum to ensure the quality of its programs. It is the mission of the Career and Technical Education Division to provide students with current knowledge and training necessary for immediate entry into various specialties within the job market.
    4. Academic Affairs Statement of Purposes:
      1. Promote excellence in instruction in all programs.
      2. Sustain high educational standards.
      3. Facilitate and deliver courses and programs via appropriate alternative modes.
      4. Provide adequate learning resources, physical plant and equipment.
      5. Serve as a resource center for the community.
      6. Offer a broad range of relevant remedial and developmental programs.
      7. Maintain an environment that promotes logical reasoning and creative thinking.
      8. Deliver customized training in the region.
      9. Identify high quality instructors and trainers.
      10. Enhance learning through the effective use of technology.
      11. Provide professional development opportunities for faculty and staff.
      12. Offer library and media services that support and enhance the curriculum.
      13. Provide curricula that gives the student a foundation for life-long learning and the development of the total person.
      14. Endorse a general education philosophy.
      15. Provide curricula that prepares students for success in the world today and to meet the challenges of the future.
      16. Provide a program of courses that will enable the student to fulfill the system-wide general education requirements as set forth by the North Dakota University System.
      17. Develop and provide short-term training that meets the needs of business and industry.
      18. Deliver educational outreach opportunities through a variety of methods to meet the needs of the region.
      19. Provide effective and supportive leadership and management to all departments and individuals working in Academic Affairs.
      20. Access continuously societal trends and standards in order to develop new courses and programs or alter existing programs.
  2. Student Affairs Mission:
    1. The mission of Student Affairs is to provide encouragement and assistance to students seeking access to Lake Region State College and to support successful college experiences for a diverse student population.
    2. To carry out this mission, Student Affairs will:
      1. Implement a strong enrollment management program which provides the information students need for good decision-making throughout their college experience.
      2. Carryout efficient admissions procedures which offer guidance and assistance to students as they complete the process of enrolling in college.
      3. Provide financial aid services which are student-friendly and compliant with federal and state regulations.
      4. Collaborate with faculty to support the delivery of effective student advisement.
      5. Provide resources for career counseling and assist students in accessing appropriate personal counseling when needed.
      6. Develop activity programming which provides a range of opportunities for students to become involved in the campus community outside the classroom, to include: varsity sports, intramural sports, campus clubs, student government, entertainment arts, humanities programming, etc.
      7. Provide resident life programming which promotes experiences and personal growth opportunities for all residents.
      8. Provide a safe campus community through education involving domestic violence, sexual assault, date rape, and stalking. Provide the campus community direct advocacy services for victims.
      9. Maintain educational records for all students and provide services for students who need to access and update the records as allowed by policies.
      10. Provide a wide range of placement services for students and graduates.
  3. Administrative Services Mission:
    1. Administrative Services effectively manages all activities relating to financial reporting budgeting, purchasing, accounts payable and receivable, student loan collections, equipment inventory, motor pool, payroll, and personnel functions in accordance with applicable policies, regulations, and laws. This division provides management oversight for auxiliary functions: bookstore, housing, food services, and physical plant operations.
    2. Administrative Services Statement of Purposes:
      1. Manage collegiate resources in a cost-effective manner, consistent with the goals of the College.
      2. Provide and manage effective auxiliary services for students.
      3. Maintain a safe and pleasant work and living environment for employees and students.
      4. Provide a supportive environment that is conducive to academic, social and personal growth.


Administrative Council Approved 100.03 (2) 8/21/01
Administrative Council Approved 100.03 (1-3) 07/27/2020