Board kicks off 2020 business

Board kicks off 2020 business

The State Board of Higher Education kicked off the new decade with some business as usual, including recommendations from Board committees and regular updates to policies.

Board member Kathleen Neset brought forward the Audit Committee recommendations, including a report from the N.D. State Auditor’s office that Neset said was satisfactory, an internal audit report, and a systemwide compliance report. She added that Williston State College was headed into a national competition in San Antonio, Texas, and wished them well.

Board member Jill Louters brought forward the Academic and Student Affairs recommendations, including a number of academic certificates making more than 400 certificates being approved in the past few years as a way to be responsive to workforce needs.

Board vice chair Dr. Casey Ryan brought forward the Research committee recommendation, noting that a majority of their time was spent discussing the Legacy Fund Research proposal that would be sent to the Interim Higher Education Legislative Committee.

Board member Tim Mihalick brought forward recommendations from the Budget and Finance committee. Among those recommendations were authorization for North Dakota State University to proceed with the Richard H. Barry Hall Space repurpose and renovation project; authorization for NDSU to proceed with Science Hall project; authorization for NDSU to begin fundraising campaign for repairs, restoration, and replacement of equipment on the Ellig Sports Complex Schlanser Outdoor Track; and authorization for NDSU to proceed with the Hastings Hall Renovation project. All were approved.

The Board continued its regular review of policies. First among those actions was to waive the first reading and approve the second reading of Policy 302.7 (Research Committee). The Board then held first readings of Policies 1203.1 (Digital Accessibility); 805.3 (Fees); and 820 (Waivers and Tuition Assistance). Second readings were held for Policies 508 (Student Grant, Scholarship, Loan Repayment and Exchange Programs) including deletion of 508.1 (STEM Occupations SLP/TSLFP); 508.2 (ND Academic/Career/Technical Education Scholarships); 508.3 (Skilled Workforce Scholarship & Student Loan Repayment); 509 (Professional Student Exchange Programs); 1913 (Tribal College Assistance Grants). Second readings were held of Policies 804 (Equipment and Personal Property Leases); 804.1 (Tax Exempt Bond Issues and Lease Purchase Financing); 909 (Real Property Leases); 908 (Financing Through Revenue Bonds); 703.1 (Early Retirement); 308.3 (Political Activities); and 607.1 (Legal Representation).

Chancellor Mark Hagerott provided several updates to the Board, including briefs on the Bismarck State College Presidential search, the ongoing Campus Strategy review; the upcoming Governor’s Strategy review, and the Legacy Study update.

Student member of the Board Kaleb Dschaak provided an update on North Dakota Student Association, noting that it was collaborating with NDUS on a data privacy policy, an upcoming Open Educational Resources conference, and continuing conversations on the importance on the mental health of students.

Faculty Advisor to the Board Dr. Debora Dragseth provided an update on the Council of College Faculty, touching on a policy that would seek tenure for presidents and how it would potentially apply in the future.

Staff Advisor to the Board Retha Mattern provided an update on the North Dakota State Staff Senate, stating that the senate was working toward professional development that was offered for staff throughout the system.

In other business, the Board named Mihalick as the Board liaison to the NDUS Foundation, and set the next Board meetings for Feb. 25 via technology, and March 26 at BSC.