• Associate Dean of Education and Behavioral Science
  • Professor of Education
Liffrig Family School of Education and Behavioral Sciences

About Me

After three decades of teaching, I can honestly say I could not have chosen a more fulfilling career. My journey in education began as an English teacher in Minnesota, and I was blessed to learn from so many talented colleagues and students throughout my career. After moving back to North Dakota in 2012, I taught English at Bismarck High School and was honored to represent North Dakota as the 2012 Teacher of the Year. This created opportunities to lead educational policy at the state and national levels. In 2014, I was awarded the National Education Association Foundation Award for Teaching Excellence and was a 2014 Global Fellow to China. In 2017, I received the Crystal Apple Outstanding Post-Secondary Teacher Award.

I currently serve on the North Dakota State Board for Educational Standards and Practices and enjoy advocating for educators and the profession from PK12 to higher education. My PhD is from the University of North Dakota in Teaching and Learning with a Concentration in Administration.

Why I’m At Mary

As an associate dean in the Liffrig Family School of Education and Behavioral Sciences, I am blessed to work alongside a fantastic team of professionals who share a passion for our mission to serve the religious, academic, and cultural needs of the people in this region and beyond. One of the most joyful parts of my job at the University of Mary is overseeing the Doctorate in Educational Leadership and Administration, launched in 2015.


I have published and presented on 21st Century learning, educational neuroscience, differentiated instruction, high-impact teaching strategies, and educational leadership.

Tufte, B.M. and Tufte, J.E. (2021). High Impact Educators: How Graduates Describe Their Best Teachers, Rowman and Littlefield Publishers. 

Tufte, B.M. (2017) "Where the Boys Are: Alarming Trends in Male College Outcomes," 360 Review. 1(3).

Tufte, B.M. (2016) "Educating Students in Poverty," 360 Review. 1(2): 90-99. 

Tufte, B.M. (2015) "College and Career Readiness in the Global World," 360 Review. 1(1): 98-113. 

Tufte, B.M. et al. (2013) "Lessons from China's Top Schools," United Voices. 1(2): 18-19 

Tufte, B.M. (2012) "Through the Hands of Teachers,". North Dakota Education News. 46: 10-11. 

Contributor - Tufte, B.M. (2016) "Developing Students' Literary Analysis Skills Through the Citing and Developing of Textual Evidence," Teaching Partners National Video Data Base. SCENA Media. 

Contributor - Tufte, B.M. (2012) Letters to a New School Teacher: Advice from America's Best Educators. 2012-2013 Teachers of the Year, J. Devlin (Ed.). Burbank, CA: Road Runner Press. ISBN: 1937054128

Peer Manuscript Reviewer for "Engaging the Rewired Brain," Dr. David Sousa, Publisher: Learning Sciences International. ISBN: 1941112250 

Peer Manuscript Reviewer for "Identifying Critical Content," Robert Marzano, Amber Rutherford, & Deanna Senn. Learning Sciences. ISBN: 10: 1941112005

2023. Keynote Speaker: Building Teacher Leadership and Collective Teacher Efficacy -Keynote North Dakota Council of Educational Leaders.

2023. High Impact Educators  Dakota Prairie Schools

2023. Evidence-Based Instructional Strategies to Improve Student Outcomes  Kadoka, SD School District

2023. Instructional Strategies for Deep Learning,  St. John Public Schools

2022. Differentiation Through Engagement, & Formative Feedback, Richardton Taylor School District

2022. Strengthening Learning Through Writing in the Content Areas, St. John Public Schools 

2022. Co-Keynote Speaker: High Impact Educators: How Graduates Describe Their Best Teachers, North Dakota Council of Educational Leaders State Conference            

2022Co-Presenter: The Effect of a Shared-Governance Organizational Structure On Organizational Culture, National Higher Education Conference, Baltimore

2021. "Deeper Learning Through Engagement & Application," North Dakota National Guard, Fort Grafton, Devils Lake, ND. 

2021. "We Know Because We're Curious," TEDX UMary, Bismarck, ND. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8JirEPNCX4s

2021. "Brain Based Learning: Lessons from Neuroscience," North Dakota Council of Educational Leaders State Conference, Bismarck, ND.  

2021. "Meeting the Needs of Each Student Through Differentiated Instruction," North Dakota Association for Lifelong Learning State Conference. 

2021. "21st Century Schools," South Dakota Superintendent's State Conference, Cedar Shore, SD.


PhD: University of North Dakota, 1995