Office of the President

Office of the President

DC Coston

Dr. Jim Ozbun was named interim president of Dickinson State Aug. 4, 2015, and began his appointment Aug. 17, 2015, after Dr. D.C. Coston stepped down due to health issues. Ozbun will serve as interim president while a search for the next president is conducted by the North Dakota State Board of Higher Education. Ozbun is a retired academic with a long history of service in higher education. Before purchasing a small cattle ranch in western North Dakota, Ozbun served as President of North Dakota State University from 1988 to 1995.

Ozbun’s career led him through faculty roles and leadership positions at Cornell University, the University of Minnesota, Kansas State University, Washington State University and NDSU. His work in research and teaching related to physiology and nutrition of crop plants. Ozbun has served on numerous boards and committees throughout his career, including most recently the Medora Foundation Board, St. Joseph’s Hospital Board in Dickinson, the Partners for Grassland Stewardship and as Chair of the North Dakota Racing Commission.

Ozbun is a native North Dakotan. He graduated from Flasher High School in Flasher, ND, and attended North Dakota Agricultural College (NDAC), where he graduated with a Bachelor of Science degree in soil science. Ozbun earned his master’s degree in soil science from NDAC, which had transitioned to North Dakota State University (NDSU) and went on to earn his Ph.D. in plant pathology from North Carolina State University. He has authored many scientific journal articles and advised numerous graduate students, including 10 Ph.D. dissertations.

Career Timeline

  • 2015 - Interim President Dickinson State University (DSU), Dickinson, ND
  • 1988-1995 - President of North Dakota State University (NDSU), Fargo, ND
  • 1982 - Dean of the College of Agriculture and Home Economics, Washington State University (WSU)
  • 1981-1982 - Associate Dean of Agriculture and Research at Kansas State University (KSU)
  • 1979-1981 - Chairman of Plant Physiology Program and Director of Graduate Studies – Plant Pathology (UofM)
  • 1977-1981 - Director of Graduate Studies – Horticulture (UofM)
  • 1976-1981 - Head, Department of Horticultural Science and Landscape Architecture (UofM)
  • 1976 - Joined the University of Minnesota (UofM), St. Paul  
  • 1974-1976 - Associate Director – Agricultural Program, Cooperative Extension at Cornell
  • 1972-1975 - Chair of the Vegetable Crops Department at Cornell
  • 1971 - Acting Chair of the Vegetable Crops Department at Cornell
  • 1970 - Visiting Scientist in Biochemistry at the University of California-Davis
  • 1969 -  Associate Professor in Vegetable Corps at Cornell.
  • 1967 -  Assistant Director of Research and Assistant Director of the Agricultural Experiment Station at Cornell
  • 1964 - Assistant Professor in the Vegetable Crops Department at Cornell University (Ithaca, NY).
  • 1964 - Ph.D. plant pathology – North Carolina State University
  • 1961 - Master’s degree in soil science from North Dakota State University
  • 1959 - Bachelor of Science degree in soil science from North Dakota Agricultural College 

Biography. President Jim L. Ozbun Papers, University Archives, North Dakota State University, Fargo.