ND United president: He understands 'frustration' at the college campuses

Jun 7, 2018

The president of North Dakota United says he understands faculty and staff at the state’s colleges and universities are frustrated.

Due to budget cuts enacted by the 2017 Legislature, faculty and staff numbers are down – and there have been no raises. And Gov. Doug Burgum has proposed another 10 to 13 percent cut for the 2019-2021 biennium.

ND United represents faculty and staff. President Nick Archuleta said because of the cuts, more than 630 jobs were eliminated – meaning the remaining staff are doing more work, with fewer colleagues, and no more pay.

"Take a look at the English department at NDSU," Archuleta said. "That's a department that touched every student twice -- once as freshmen, another when students learn such skills as technical writing. They've had positions cut, and that's quite a workload on those that remain."

Archuleta said faculty feel they’re undervalued. And he said the Board of Higher Education and college administrators need to be very careful if further staff reductions are going to happen.

"We need to consider what long-term damage could be done to these institutions if we're not very careful in how those cuts are made," Archuleta said. "There isn't fat to trim at the universities any more. We are cutting pretty damn close to the bone."

Board president Don Morton said University System representatives have had what he called “constructive discussions” with the Burgum Administration regarding funding for higher education.