Gov. Doug Burgum’s executive budget does not include the proposal for $100 million for research at NDSU and UND.
UND president Mark Kennedy and NDSU President Dean Bresciani have been advocating for a $100 million investment in research over the next two-year period. The money would come from interest on the state’s Legacy fund. The two universities would each receive $25 million a year.
Burgum said his budget has $200 million for research – but not specifically for the two big universities.
Kennedy said he and Bresciani will continue to press the Legislature to fund the proposal.
"I think the fact that there was a research line item in the Governor's proposal is a reflection of the traction we're gaining," Kennedy said in an interview. "We're getting very positive feedback from across the state, and many legislators have given us positive affirmations of the understanding how research can not only help propel our traditional agriculture and economic industries, but also diversify the economy."
Over the summer and fall, the two presidents met with community leaders and legislators around the state, talking about how this could help transform North Dakota's economy.
The Legislature will start looking at the University System budget in January. Kennedy said he found a lot to like in Burgum's proposal for higher education.
"We're awaiting further details," Kennedy said.