President’s Office

Dr. John Richman


The world is changing rapidly. NDSCS isn’t just changing with it; we’re out ahead, giving our students a lead-in to high-paying, rewarding and challenging careers.

Today’s companies are competing in a fast-paced, highly technical and sophisticated global economy, and they need a new kind of employee to succeed. They’re looking for people who can work with their heads as well as their hands, who can adapt and create solutions that improve efficiency and productivity. They call them “knowledge workers,” and educating them – educating you – is our specialty.

NDSCS is “old school” and “new school” at the same time. For more than a century, we’ve been educating people for successful lives through hands-on, student-centered programs. And we also have the most advanced technologies, equipment and learning environments around. We’re a leader in forming partnerships with employers in agriculture, business, construction, health care, manufacturing, transportation and other fields where there is a strong demand for knowledge workers. These companies help NDSCS keep pace with or get ahead of the real world. At the same time, they expand opportunities for students in terms of expert instruction, cooperative education and networking.

With an NDSCS education, you’ll move into your career or the next step in your educational journey faster and for less money. The fact is, it doesn’t matter how quick or cheap you get there, it’s how good you are when you arrive. Our graduates arrive prepared to jump right in and make a difference. If you doubt it, all you have to do is ask the companies that employ them.

I’ve been involved with NDSCS as a coach, instructor, administrator and parent of two children who are now alumni. Things have changed since I first stepped on campus back in the early 1970s, but one thing hasn’t and never will. At NDSCS students come first, and we’ll do everything in our power to help you succeed.

So check out NDSCS, a two-year college that has launched thousands of successful careers and lives. We can do the same for you!

John Richman, Ph.D. 

John Richman, Ph.D. - Ninth President of the North Dakota State College of Science

John Richman, Ph.D. was named the ninth president of North Dakota State College of Science on February 20, 2007; guided by his unique perspective on the college that is the result of nearly four decades of association with NDSCS.

Immediately following his appointment, President Richman began implementing initiatives to improve NDSCS and its offerings with a heightened focus on becoming more accessible to a more diverse student population and creating ongoing partnerships with business/industry. President Richman has also provided a renewed focus on increasing our students' degree attainment while remaining accessible and affordable while becoming increasingly accountable to stakeholders.

Throughout his tenure his initiatives have all been mission-driven – centered on increasing NDSCS’s ability to attract, educate, and train the workforce for the state of North Dakota and beyond.


A native of Lebanon, Ind., President Richman first set foot on campus as a student in the early 1970s. His student experience included playing football, participating in track and field, and working on-campus as a dishwasher and Resident Assistant.

President Richman was recruited to return to NDSCS in 1986 by President Clair T. Blikre as the Head Football Coach. Through the years he has served NDSCS as the head football coach, an instructor in the Health, Physical Education and Recreation Department, the director of athletics and vice president for academic and student affairs. In addition, he has also experienced NDSCS as a parent; both of his children attended NDSCS.

Prior to returning to campus, he was a teacher, coach and athletic director in Ada, Minn. and an assistant coach at both Minnesota State University Moorhead (MSUM) and the University of North Dakota.

President Richman earned his Bachelor of Science and Master of Arts degrees from MSUM and his Doctorate in Kinesiology at the University of Minnesota. He and his wife, Marcia, live in Wahpeton.

Continuous Improvement

President Richman has facilitated academic, administrative, and facility improvements that have enabled NDSCS to be an engine for high-tech workforce and economic development. These collaborative efforts have resulted in numerous positive changes for students, employees, the community, and the state of North Dakota – they include:

Learning Innovations

  • Creation of the state's first Journeyworker Track program, which provides credit for apprenticeships that can be applied to fulfilling the requirements of an A.A.S. degree.
  • Development of innovative Career and Technical Education (CTE) academic programs and certificates, such as: Unmanned Aircraft Systems, Autonomous Systems Technology, Precision Agriculture and Ag Business, Software Engineering and Coding, Meat Processing, Emergency Medical Services, and Case IH and Komatsu Diesel Technology programs.
  • The creation of a course placement policy, program admission requirements for all CTE programs, and a required First Year Experience course; all of which offer flexibility and assurance students are best prepared to succeed at NDSCS.
  • Working to advance Instructional Technology to ensure students have access to their education and material no matter the location, while also improving the security of the IT infrastructure at NDSCS.
  • Recognizing the need to expand opportunities in Cass County, developed a career workforce academy in partnership with Fargo Public Schools, West Fargo Public Schools, Central Cass School District, and Northern Cass School District. The Career Innovation Center (CIC), will be a centrally located education and training center providing career awareness events for elementary students, career identification and preparation (including early-entry College classes) activities for middle and high school students, and training/learning spaces for NDSCS students and trainees – including New Americans and the incumbent workforce. The CIC will replace the current NDSCS-Fargo location which has been in operation since 1998.

Strengthening Partnerships

  • Advancing  the College’s partnerships with business and industry, creating efficient and affordable career pathways for students while simultaneously striving to meet the workforce needs. Under his leadership numerous partnerships have been created, with framework developed to establish partnerships in all areas of the College in the future.
  • Development of the Student Sponsorship program that matches prospective or current students with employers that are willing to help with the cost of education in exchange for on-the-job training or employment during/after their education.
  • Advocating for the development of the ND Career Builders Scholarship and Loan Repayment program, established by the 66thLegislative Assembly, which further enhances the impact of student sponsorships.
  • NDSCS being named as one of the Top 150 U.S. community colleges by the Aspen Institute College Excellence Program.
  • The Aspen Institute selecting NDSCS as one of six institutions to highlight in The Workforce Playbook: A community college guide to delivering excellent career and technical education (2019).

Improved Learning Environments

  • 2010: Horton Hall was remodeled into a cutting-edge learning facility. This U.S. Green Building Council LEED® certified structure provides intelligent classrooms, modern material testing labs and dozens of high-tech, sustainable features that make the building itself a world-class teaching tool.
  • 2013:  The $10.3 million Bisek Hall expansion project was completed, making it one of the largest diesel technician educational facilities in North America. With the new addition, the total space allocated for the diesel technician program more than doubled to nearly 120,000 sq. feet, allowing the College to increase the program’s enrollment by 20 percent.
  • 2013: To enhance the living-learning environment for students a $9 million renovation to Forkner and Riley residence halls was completed. This renovation was student-focused – providing informal spaces for students to connect and modernized the on-campus living amenities.
  • 2015: Old Main underwent an  $8.4 million revitalization. After 18 months, the building that started it all was restored combining old architectural elements with the latest technology. More importantly Old Main’s function went from being an administrative building to being a student-focused space – allowing for  the creation of the Student Success Center a one-stop service and support center.
  • 2015: The Earl "Skip"  Bute Alumni Stadium received a $1.5 million improvement. This project was collaboratively funded through private donations from NDSCS alumni and friends and support from Wahpeton High School. The  renovation resulted in new space for the NDSCS Bookstore, an updated concession area, revamped locker rooms, a new training room and equipment storage area, a larger and more functional Catbacker room, renovated public restrooms, new cement, an updated water and sewer system, and a new ticket booth resembling the iconic Old Main steeple.
  • 2017: The College completed a $13 million water and sewer infrastructure project, ensuring the health and safety of the college community well into the future.
  • 2017: Acquiring nearly 95 acres of farmland north of Wahpeton that is utilized as a living educational and training tool for the NDSCS Agriculture programs.


  • Richman has served many local, regional, national organizations, including:
  • Higher Learning Commission Trustee (2017-2021)
  • Trustee of the Board of National Coalition of Certification Centers (2011)
  • Valley Prosperity Partnership
  • Tri-College Partnership Board
  • Fargo-Moorhead Economic Development Board of Directors
  • Wahpeton Community Economic Development Corporation
  • United Way of Richland and Wilkin
  • Richland Wilkin Community Foundation


Richman’s outstanding leadership has been recognized several times:

  • 2009: Named a Minnesota State University Moorhead (MSUM) Distinguished Alumnus.
  • 2011: Awarded the Associated Equipment Distributors Founders Award for commitment to innovation and education.
  • 2016: Received the NC3 Founders award for dedication to the mission and activities of NC3.
  • 2016: Presented with the NASPA Region IV-West Presidential Excellence Award for continually demonstrating his passion and commitment to supporting students' success.
President's Office Mission

The mission of the President’s Office is to provide the principled leadership to ensure that as a state agency NDSCS serves the state of North Dakota by attracting, educating, training, developing, graduating and placing individuals into the workforce through our career and technical programs, our transfer programs and our workforce training division by consistently and reliably providing a safe, clean, healthy, green, tech-savvy, affordable and educational environment. 

This office ensures that NDSCS sets and meets high expectations as set forth by department and college accreditation and governing agencies.

This office ensures that resourcefulness, effectiveness and continuous quality improvement is occurring in all areas.

The President oversees the continuous responsive pursuit of academic excellence by fostering partnerships, remaining collaborative, focused and purposeful.

Employee Quality Standards

NDSCS has a culture of continuous improvement. The following Quality Standards are part of that culture and guide us in the way we interact with each other and with our customers.

Employee Quality Standards