Budget allotments, Envision 2030 meeting among agenda items at State Board of Higher Education meeting
After taking the morning to select the new president for the University of North Dakota, the State Board of Higher Education wasted no time in getting down to other important business this week. Among the most vital agenda items were updates on the presidents’ goal evaluations, the budget allotment and “Envision 2030,” a higher education summit.
Chancellor Mark Hagerott opened the topic of the presidents’ goals, and outlined the timeline for evaluating progress on the goals. The heads of the 11 public colleges and universities submitted goals aligned with the system’s strategic plan last fall and have been implementing them during the academic year at their respective institutions. Hagerott said he and Board Member Mike Ness and Valley City State President Tisa Mason are researching different approaches to conducting the evaluations and will present their recommendations to the Board at a future meeting.
Chief Financial Officer Tammy Dolan spoke briefly on budget allotments for the next biennium based on campus need. She said that university system staff would continue to monitor the State budget, with further reports issued to the Board on each step in the biennial budget process. Dolan later provided details for the current reports.
Vice Chancellor for Strategic Engagement Linda Donlin then opened up talks of strategy and the future with an overview of an education summit planned for May 23. The “Envision 2030” event will bring together leaders from the university system and Board, the legislature, state agencies and the business community for a one-day session in Bismarck aimed to lay the foundation for the future of higher education in the state.
After comparing the childhood experiences of today’s students and workers to the incoming preschoolers’ technology-driven world, Donlin challenged the Board. “The question is: Will we be ready for the students of 2030?” she asked. “We want to get the people who care about our colleges and universities together in one spot … to have a very good discussion about where we are now, and where we’re going.”
Donlin said the event will feature a keynote address by Gov. Jack Dalrymple; a panel discussion on the challenges and opportunities surrounding the demographics of the state from pre-school through retirement, led by Lt. Gov. Drew Wrigley; a discussion on the meaning of attainment in education, followed by inclusive breakout sessions tackling the state’s workforce needs, the impact of globalization, what the classroom of 2030 may look like, among other topics. Results of the summit will inform the Board’s strategic planning session in June.
In detailing the 2016-2017 annual budget, Dolan provided details on increases including salary guidelines and tuition rates. She noted that the 2016-17 salary guidelines provided that campus/entity-wide average salary increases could not exceed a maximum of three percent for permanent employees.
Dakota College at Bottineau, Dickinson State University, Mayville State University, Minot State University, North Dakota State College of Science, University of North Dakota, Valley City State University and Williston State College have proposed maximum tuition rate increases of 2.5 percent. North Dakota State University would increase 2.4 percent. Lake Region State College would increase 2.0 percent, and Bismarck State College would increase 1.9 percent. The University of North Dakota Medical School, which is not subject to the legislative tuition increase cap, would increase 3.0 percent. Full campus budgets are due to the university system office by early June.
Board member Nick Hacker led discussion on student fees, touching on how the Board might administer fees for facilities or programs in the fairest manner. He noted that many students might not utilize services or facilities but still have to pay those fees. Board members Greg Stemen and Kevin Melicher added their perspectives to the discussion, noting that it would be hard to say who did and who did not utilize any service or facility, and that impact to students was always up for review.
Two students with the UND Music Therapy program then approached the Board, with an official statement on behalf of the program’s students regarding the proposed closure of the program. They noted that in the past week they were informed that the UND administration had planned to close the program. The students urged the Board to ask the University of North Dakota to reconsider the closure of the program.
The Board also held the first reading of policies 402 (delegation of admission authority), 402.1.1 (admission policies standardized test scores), 402.1.2 (Admission policies placement in college courses), HR 6 (annual leave) and HR 7 (sick leave). It also held the second readings of policy 402.1 (first-year applicants-certificate, diploma, and associate degree programs) and HR 13 (employment of relatives).
The Board also considered and approved honorary degrees from Bismarck State College, North Dakota State University and UND.
The Board also changed its May meeting from May 26 to May 23-24 to coincide with the Envision 2030 event in Bismarck. Board members also discussed changing the annual retreat from June 27-28 to June 16-17.