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board of higher education

State Board of Higher Education member Casey Ryan is serving his first term on the Board.

That term expires at the end of June, 2021. He’s eligible for a second term.

Does he want to stay on the Board?

"Right now, the answer is yes," Ryan said in an interview.

Ryan chairs the Board’s Research and Governance Subcommittee – a role he enjoys.

"It was set up to bring NDSU and UND closer together, and then work with the other 9 institutions, to promote research within the state," Ryan said.

The state Board of Higher Education has voted to submit a “needs based budget” to Governor Burgum for consideration, as he prepares his executive budget request for the 2021-2023 biennium.

When Burgum issued his budget guidelines, higher education was asked to reduce its general fund request by 10 percent. That would come in a reduction in higher-ed’s funding formula. That would drop the appropriation to $574.7 million.

The president of the state Board of Higher Education said the past semester has been a challenge – as students were forced to take classes on-line, rather than in person, because of the coronavirus.

Nick Hacker said the safety and well-being of students, faculty and staff is the system’s top concern.

"We want to thank students, faculty and staff for working toegther, and literally turning higher education on its head in a matter of weeks, to transition 11,000 face to face courses to alternative delivery formats," Hacker said.

A nominating committee has chosen three finalists for a spot on the state Board of Higher Education.

This is to fill the vacancy on the board due to the resignation of Dan Traynor.

The five member committee is made up of state school superintendent Kirsten Baesler, Chief Justice Jon Jensen, House Speaker Lawrence Klemin, Senate President Pro Tem Oley Larsen and North Dakota United President Nick Archuleta.

University System

The Board of Higher Education could be looking at a bill draft – that would allow the Board to go into executive session when discussing the Chancellor’s contract renewal.

That’s something they can do now with the college presidents.

"That's the way it was in the past," Chancellor Mark Hagerott told the Board's Governance Committee. "The, due to unique personalities and events, it was pulled out to be made very public."

Hagerott said that has led to -- as he put it -- "interesting times."

North Dakota University System

The state Board of Higher Education will decide whether the North Dakota State College of Science needs “temporary system oversight” of some of the campus management functions.

Dave Thompson / Prairie Public

"This sounds like a 'two board lite' proposal."

That’s Board of Higher Education chairman Don Morton, speaking about the proposal to increase the Board to 15 members.

The Governor’s Task Force on Higher Education Governance had recommended the current Board be replaced by three boards - one for NDSU, one for UND and one for the other 9 campuses. It was amended to two boards – one for the two research universities and the second for the rest of the campuses. That failed in the House. So the Senate approved the proposed 15-member board.

The state Senate has approved a Constitutional amendment to increase the size of the state Board of Higher Education from 8 to 15 members.

The original proposal was to increase the board to 11 members.

Senate Education Committee chairman Robert Schiable (R-Mott) proposed the 15-member board. He told the Senate that would make it easier for the Board to form subcommittees to more closely work with the campuses.

If the Legislature passes the so-called "two board" model for higher education governance, the office of Chancellor of the University System will be no more.

"In the Constitution, there is no word called 'Chancellor,'" said Gov. Doug Burgum, who is pushing the Legislature to approve a two board system. "There is a 'higher-education administrator.'"

The House defeated the two board plan. The Senate is now considering an expanded single board, expanding its membership from 8 to 11. Burgum wants the Senate to amend that bill, reinstating the two boards.

Dave Thompson / Prairie Public

Gov. Doug Burgum is renewing his push for two separate boards of higher education – one for the research universities, and the other for the rest of the colleges.

A task force on higher education governance had recommended three boards -- one for NDSU, one for UND and one for the other 9 campuses. It was introduced that way in the House, but was amended to the two board model after sponsors decided two boards would be easier to pass. The House turned that down.