NDSU is scheduled to present an honorary doctorate of business to William Goetz, former chancellor of the North Dakota University System, during the 5 p.m. commencement ceremony Friday, Dec. 17, at NDSU’s Sanford Health Athletic Complex.
Goetz has left an indelible mark on the state during his lengthy and distinguished career in public service. He was chancellor from 2007 to 2012, overseeing 11 institutions and a $1 billion budget. As chancellor, he brokered a new strategic plan for the system and opened lines of communication and academic relationships with tribal colleges and the system’s campuses.
“It was very rewarding to be chancellor – a humbling appointment that gave me a tremendous opportunity to address some strong convictions I had about higher education,” he said.
In 1997, he was named Chief of Staff for Gov. Ed Shafer, and remained in the position for 10 years, continuing in the job after John Hoeven’s election as governor. In that role, he was the communication liaison between the governor’s office and 17 reporting agencies. He also held constituent meetings and was the governor’s representative on numerous occasions. In 1999, he was an appointed member of the North Dakota Higher Education Roundtable.
He previously represented District 37 in Dickinson, North Dakota, as a state senator for eight years and as a state representative for 12 years. As a senator, he served as assistant majority leader and was a member of the Appropriations Committee. During his time as a representative, he was assistant majority leader, vice chair of the House Finance and Tax Committee, caucus chair for two sessions and a member of the Natural Resources Committee and Agriculture Committee. In other legislative service, he was a member of the Science, Technology and Resource Planning Committee.
“My professional life was made possible in large part by the love, teamwork and support of my wife, Marion, and loving children – Marcia, Paul and Mark,” Goetz said.
From 1967 to 1997, he worked at Dickinson State University, holding several positions, including executive vice president of the DSU Foundation, chief academic officer of the School of Business, Business Challenge campus coordinator, Elderhostel campus coordinator and associate professor in the School of Business and Management.
His honors include the GNDA North Dakota Educator of the Year in 1990, Hydro Award from the Dickinson Area Chamber of Commerce in 1991 for his work with the Southwest Water Project, North Dakota National Guard State Meritorious Service Award and 2013 Bismarck State College Alumnus of the Year.
Goetz earned his Associate of Arts degree at Bismarck State College, Bachelor of Arts degree from Minot State University and Master of Arts degree in business at the University of North Dakota.
NDSU is set to have two commencement ceremonies on Friday, Dec. 17.
The 2 p.m. ceremony is for graduates of the College of Ats, Humanities and Social Sciences; College of Engineering; College of Human Sciences and Education; and interdisciplinary studies.
The 5 p.m. ceremony is for graduates in the College of Agriculture, Food Systems and Natural Resources; College of Business; College of Health Professions; and College of Science and Mathematics.
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