BHE wants to be heard on Gov. Burgum's Higher Education Governance task force

Dec 1, 2017

Board of Higher Education meets 11/30/17 at Bismarck State College.
Credit Dave Thompson / Prairie Public

The state Board of Higher Education is on-record, asking to have representation on the Governor’s Task Force on Higher Education Governance.

That task force will begin its meetings in December.

"There needs to be some connection from the Board to this group, so they understand what is already being done (on governance)," said Board member Dr. Casey Ryan. "The task force may have a lot of ideas, but may not realize that 'Hey, this has been going on for 10 years.'"

Ryan said there has to be some representation -- either ex-officio or as voting members.

Thursday (11-30-17) was the last day to apply to be on that task force. Three members of the Board have said they have already applied to be on it.

Meanwhile, higher ed board Chairman Don Morton wanted to clarify what he called some misunderstandings about the task force.

"This is not a task force to look at closing campuses," Morton said. "Matter of fact, he (Gov. Doug Burgum) raised a question that we may need more points of delivery of knowledge. So, it's not about closing campuses -- it's about governance."

Morton said he doesn’t know how Burgum will choose the task force members.

Voters rejected a Legislatively-backed measure to change from a volunteer board to a three-member professional board, similar to a Public Service Commission.