higher education

BHE staff rep: 'Don't cut jobs in favor of raises'

Feb 17, 2018

After a year of no salary increases, the state Board of Higher Education is considering allowing the college and university presidents to give raises – if they have the money from tuition, room and board, and savings.

Because the 2017 Legislature did not give state employees a general raise – due to budget constraints – the Board adopted a policy for fiscal 2018 that no raises will be given to higher education employees. However, the Board will be asked to change that policy for fiscal 2019.

But there was a word of caution from the staff representative to the Board.  

ND University System

North Dakota is one of 13 states that have agreed to a program designed to raise the percentage of Americans with a college degree or high-quality certification.

It comes from the Lumina Foundation.

"The economy is rapidly changing," said North Dakota University System Chancellor Mark Hagerott. "Certificates are becoming a key component of that. It may take too long to get a four-year degree for some of the coming changes."

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.

Burgum to chair higher-ed governance task force

Nov 8, 2017
Dave Thompson / Prairie Public

Gov. Doug Burgum is creating a Higher Education Governance Task Force.

Burgum said the task force will be looking at the ways the University System is managed – and see if there are changes that need to be made to bring the system – as he put it – into the 21st century.

Burgum said the current Board of Higher Education dates back to the 1930s.

"We've had a similar model in place for 80 years," Burgum told a Capitol news conference. "Now might be a good time for us to take a look to see if that model could be updated."

T.McDonald / Prairie Public

Governor Doug Burgum says global trends are starting to shape how services are being delivered. As reporter Todd McDonald tells us, the Governor has a chance to explain what that means for Higher Education when he spoke with an interim legislative committee at NDSU, Thursday.

ND University System

A job change in the University System office.

Lisa Feldner has been the chief of staff to Chancellor Mark Hagerott, as well as the System’s information technology director. She will now just handle IT.

"Because of the urgent needs we have in cyber-security, and she was an architect for the North Dakota research network some years ago, as well as in high-performacnce computing, I've put her focus on those things," Hagerott said.

Hagerott said there’s a lot to do in that regard.

Miller named WSC president

Jun 28, 2017
Williston State College

The Board of Higher Education has appointed John Miller as the president of Williston State College.

Miller had been acting president since June, 2016 – when former president Dr. Raymond Nadolny left. Miller has been the Vice-President for Academic Affairs since 2015. He had applied to be the president before Nadolny was hired.

University System Chancellor Mark Hagerott said Miller has done a tremendous job as the acting president – at a time of stress and difficulty on campus, due to Nadolny's early exit -- and a difficult budget sitaution.

ND University System

A House Appropriations subcommittee is now working on the budget for higher education.

This week, the University System and its 11 campuses are making presentations to the Education and Environment division. The Senate has already made some significant spending cuts. Its version proposes general fund spending of $616 million. That compares with $837 million in the current biennium.

Higher Ed budget bill passes Senate

Feb 22, 2017
Courtesy ND Legislature

The state Senate has approved the University System’s budget.

It’s a $65 million reduction in general fund spending from the 2015-2017 biennium.

"It's a large decrease," said Sen. Ray Holmberg (R-Grand Forks), the chairman of the Senate Appropriations Committee. "But I think with good leadership at the campus level, and at the board level, they can continue to grow."

A subcommittee of the Senate Appropriations Committee has begun studying the higher education budget.

The subcommittee is working off the new budget proposal submitted by Gov. Doug Burgum. That proposal is for $507 million for the University System. That’s down from the original 2015-2017 base budget of $614 million. And it's down from the post-allotment base of $567 million.