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University System

As the Board of Higher Education prepares to hire new presidents at UND, Bismarck State College and Dickinson State University, a board committee is wrestling with new language for a president’s initial contract.

The Board’s Governance Committee looked at a new contract draft, after some were concerned that the initial proposal had a lot of “sticks,” but not a lot of “carrots.”

When the search committee for the new President at Bismarck State College had its first meeting, the Chancellor of Higher Education asked the committee to be aware of – and open to – a diverse field of candidates.

Right now, no president at the 11 campuses is a woman. The last was Dr. Tisa Mason at Valley City State University.

"I think the challenge is there," said BSC Search Committee Co-Chair Dr. Dan Leingang. "We will embrace that."

Leingang said he would love to see a diverse candidate come in to make the finalist list.

The state Board of Higher Education has rejected the idea of lengthening the contract period for college and university presidents from the current three years to five years.

Board member Dan Traynor brought the idea to the Board’s Governance Committee, but the Committee turned it down. So, Traynor brought up the idea to the full board. He said with new hires, he thinks the expectation should be that a new president should stay in that job at least five years.

A new program is available through the North Dakota University System, that provides a skilled workforce scholarship and student loan repayment plan.

It’s called “ND Career Builders.”

"It's a statewide effort to recruit and retain talent for the state's high need and emerging occupations," said System vice-chancellor for administrative affairs, and the system's chief financial officer.

Dolan said half the program is dedicated to scholarships. She said students will work with their colleges, to see if they are in a program that meets the qualifications.

The audit committee of the state Board of Higher Education has established a timeline for North Dakota State College of Science president John Richman to formally respond to a performance audit.

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.

When the 2017 Legislature did not appropriate money for general state employee pay raises, the North Dakota University System instituted a “pay freeze” for the 2017-2018 school year.

But if the state Board of Higher Education agrees, that freeze will be lifted for 2018-2019.

The Board’s Budget and Finance Committee passed its budget guidelines for the campuses, with language allowing the college presidents to give pay raises.

But there’s a caveat.

Students to talk 'Envision 2030'

Feb 23, 2018
Dave Thompson / Prairie Public

The North Dakota Student Association will be holding a discussion on the North Dakota University System’s “Envision 2030” strategic planning process during the Association’s meeting tonight (Friday, 2/23) in Wahpeton.

Kaleb Dschaak is a student at UND – and is the president of the Student Association. He said System office staff will be on-hand to talk about the process – and how students can have their say.

The state Board of Higher Education will be asked to approve changes to the “certificate of completion” program.

Under the current program, a student can receive a “Certificate of Completion” after completing a minimum of 16 semester hours in a program. The proposal would drop that to 9 hours.

Three ND colleges asking for fundraising campaigns

Nov 15, 2017
Dave Thompson / Prairie Public

Three North Dakota colleges want to start fundraising campaigns.

And they will be asking the state Board of Higher Education for permission.

Bismarck State College wants permission to raise $10 million for its expansion and relocation of its Health Science programs. BSC currently leases space in a converted warehouse building in downtown Bismarck, owned by the city of Bismarck. BSC vice-president Dave Clark told the Board's Budget and Finance Committee the college has a lease with the city through the summer of 2020.