North Dakota State University in Fargo has announced a $4.5 million investment from the NDSU Foundation and Alumni Association to endow a chair at its College of Business that will support a developing entrepreneurial culture at the university.
The funds will establish the President Jim Ozbun Chair of Entrepreneurship, which will be tasked with nurturing faculty excellence in entrepreneurship education and encouraging students to pursue big ideas and innovative thinking. The funds also will support scholarships for students pursuing any major who have expressed interest in creative activity and innovation. NDSU's business school will begin a national search to select the inaugural holder of the chair, which honors Jim Ozbun, who served as the university's president from 1988 to 1995. Ozbun, an NDSU alumnus, earned his doctorate in plant physiology from North Carolina State University in 1964 and subsequently held positions at Cornell University, the University of Minnesota, Kansas State University, and Washington State University before returning to NDSU in 1988.
"Entrepreneurial thinking and innovation are key to an educated, productive workforce and society," said NDSU president Dean L. Bresciani. "This endowment is a game changer in catalyzing a greater emphasis on this important skill, by supporting student scholarships, programs, and the excellence of faculty who work in entrepreneurial education to connect to the local and state business community."