BISMARCK, N.D. - A work group appointed to study the financial situation at Mayville State University issued its final report today, including a number of short and long-term recommendations designed to put the university back on solid financial footing.
Working at the direction of North Dakota University System Chancellor Robert L. Potts, the group of University System personnel concluded MaSU has a bright future and strong backing, both on the campus and in the community. The work group was formed in April 2006 after a financial review caused concern for the university's financial viability, a situation that has been exacerbated by sharp increases in the cost of fuel oil used to heat campus facilities.
"The State Board of Higher Education is committed to maintaining the financial and educational viability of Mayville State University," said Pam Kostelecky, SBHE president. "We want Mayville State's faculty, staff and students and the surrounding communities of Mayville and Portland to know the board will work with them through these issues."
"I am so pleased with the results of the work group," Potts said. "Their thoroughness and willingness to work with the stakeholders in this process have made me very comfortable forwarding their recommendations to the State Board of Higher Education for review and approval. "
"Chancellor Potts asked us to develop a plan to foster the long-term fiscal stability and viability of the institution," said Dave Clark, chair of the work group and executive vice president at Bismarck State College. "A plan has been developed, and the work group was very impressed by the dedication and commitment of Mayville State's cabinet, faculty and staff and the community during this process."
"Mayville State University is appreciative of the guidance provided by the work group," said Dr. Gary Hagen, MaSU vice president for academic affairs and interim president, effective July 1, 2006. "We look forward to implementing their recommendations, and we believe the course of action they have laid out will bring financial stability to the university."
Key recommendations include proceeding this fall with a search for a new MaSU president, as well as $803,120 in reductions to the general fund/tuition budget and $455,000 in additions to the same budget. These additions include creating a new controller position to assist the vice president for business affairs whose office was determined to be understaffed. The report also recommends a review of academic and athletic programs, consistent with the mission and long-term financial resources of the institution; consideration of requesting a special legislative appropriation to study energy utilization and space needs; and significant reporting and accountability measures to monitor implementation of the plan over a period of four years.
In addition to Clark, work group members included Tamara Barber, North Dakota University System director of financial reporting; Jim Wigtil, Valley City State University interim vice president for academic affairs; and Greg Weisenstein, University of North Dakota vice president for academic affairs and provost.
The MaSU work group report is available on the NDUS Web site with the June 30, 2006, SBHE meeting agenda.