board of higher education

Dave Thompson / Prairie Public

A committee tasked to choose nominees for the Board of Higher Education has chosen six candidates for two open positions on the Board.

However, the Committee declined to nominate current Board member Kevin Melicher of Fargo for reappointment.

Melicher was eligible for a second four year term on the Board. Not one of the five members of the nominating committee suggested he be re-nominated.

ND University System

The chairman of the North Dakota Senate Appropriations Committee says the Legislature has given campuses and the board of Higher Education flexibility in terms of setting out-of-state tuition rates.

At a recent Board meeting, Board chairman Don Morton said he would like the campus presidents to be given more flexibility in setting those rates, based on their campus’ needs.

"The Legislature agreed," said Sen. Ray Holmberg (R-Grand Forks), chairman of Senate Appropriations.

Members of the state Board of Higher Education aren’t happy with the budget guidelines Governor Burgum issued to state agencies, to help them prepare for the 2019-2021 biennium.

But the chairman of the board is urging some caution in making a response.

Burgum’s budget guidelines call for a 10 percent reduction in state spending for the colleges and universities – a $51 million reduction – plus an additional 3 percent as a contingency cut – another $15 million. That’s on top of the $106 million cut from higher-ed in the 2017 biennium.

10 apply for Board of Higher Education

Apr 5, 2018

Ten people have applied to be on the Board of Higher Education.

Two spots are available. One current board member whose term is up, Kevin Melicher of Fargo, has applied to serve a second four-year term.  Mike Ness was eligible for a second term, but did not apply.

A committee of the Board of Higher Education has endorsed a student fee increase at Lake Region State College in Devils Lake.

The $180 yearly fee will allow LRSC students to use a proposed activity and recreation center. That center is being proposed by the Devils Lake Park Board. College president Dr. Doug Darling told the Budget and Finance Committee the college was approached by the park board, who was hoping the college students would be interested in membership at the center.

Higher-ed governance task force begins its work

Jan 12, 2018
Dave Thompson / Prairie Public

The Governor’s Task Force on Higher Education Governance has begun its work.

It held its first meeting at Bismarck State College Friday (1/12/18).

In his opening comments, Gov. Doug Burgum said the mission is to look at the governance system – which dates back to the 1930s – and see if it can be tweaked or modified to meet the needs of 21st century students. Burgum also wanted to dispel some perceptions of what the task force will be doing.

Prairie Public file

Gov. Doug Burgum has made 14 appointments to the Higher Education Governance Task Force.

Among the 14 are four state Legislators.

Sen. Brad Bekkedahl (R-Williston) said he applied to be on the task force because higher education is important to the northwestern part of North Dakota.  Bekkedahl said he has no preconceived notions about governance.

"The model last changed about 80 years ago," Bekkedahl said. "It's probably not a bad thing to look at it."

Bekkedahl said it doesn't mean there will be changes. But he said there could be down the road.

Dave Thompson / Prairie Public

The Chancellor of the North Dakota University System floated an idea to get state Board of Higher Education members more involved in the evaluation of the college presidents.

That’s normally been the Chancellor’s job.

Chancellor Mark Hagerott told the Board’s Governance Committee – the evaluations are now going to be done in tiers, starting with the two year schools. Hagerott suggested Board members be assigned to one of the tiers – two year schools, four-year schools and the research universities. He said getting more Board involvement is not a new idea.

BHE Chairman -- 'Let due process play out'

Dec 1, 2017
Dave Thompson / Prairie Public

The state Board of Higher Education held a closed door session to discuss a complaint and possible legal action filed by a fired vice-Chancellor of the North Dakota University System.

The Board met at Bismarck State College.

After Lisa Feldner was fired, she filed a complaint with the state Labor Department, complaining of discrimination. In a the 17-page complaint, Feldner alleged among other things that Chancellor Mark Hagerott valued the comments and opinions of the male staffers in the Central Office over the female staffers. Hagerott has denied the allegations.

The North Dakota University System’s Council of College Faculties has written a letter to the chair and vice-chair of the state Board of Higher Education, outlining its concern about “a lack of procedure” concerning a report on the system’s Chancellor.

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