Board of Higher Education looking at the lease between DSU and the TR Library Foundation

May 25, 2018

DSU President Dr. Tom Mitzel.

Now that the decision has been made that the Theodore Roosevelt Presidential Library and Museum will be built near Medora, a lease issue between Dickinson State University and the TR Library Foundation still has to be cleared up.

DSU leased the land where its old rodeo grounds had been. The school removed bleachers and other structures connected to the rodeo grounds. And about $3 million of state funds had been spent.

"I'm said this is not going to be at the DSU campus any longer," said Board of Higher Education member Nick Hacker.

Hacker had questions about the cost to terminate the lease.

"The land should be returned to its orginal condition to DSU, and DSU should not incur costs for the failure of the Foundation not to put the building where they stated they were going to put it," Hacker said. "The financial impact to DSU should be picked up by someone else, other than higher education."

The board voted to start negotiations with the Foundation.

Although the Foundation voted to have the library and museum built near Medora, instead of at Dickinson State University, that doesn’t mean DSU is giving up what it is already doing in the area of Roosevelt studies.

"The Theordore Roosevelt center, started at Dickinson State and became an international program, remains at Dickinson State," said DSU president Dr. Tom Mitzel. "We will continue to push to maintain that international program."

Mitzel said DSU may partner with the Library and Museum at some point.

"The center remains the intellectual property of DSU," Mitzel said.

DSU has been digitizing Roosevelt’s documents, and those will also stay with DSU.