Higher education students will benefit by hard work of the 67th Legislative Assembly

Higher education students will benefit by hard work of the 67th Legislative Assembly

BISMARCK, N.D. – The North Dakota University System (NDUS) now has its 2021-23 biennium budget after the 67th Legislative Assembly passed SB2003, allotting higher education $686.3 million from the state’s general fund for new investments and ongoing operations. The appropriation includes additional funding for innovative program development in nursing and student-success programs. The budget aligns well with the State Board of Higher Education’s (SBHE) needs-based budget request submitted prior to the legislative session.

The general fund dollars account for approximately 26% of the NDUS’ total $2.6 billion operational budget. The remaining budget is comprised of tuition, auxiliary revenues, state and federal grants, and other local revenue funds. The 2019-21 ongoing operational budget was $2.5 billion.

“We thank the legislators who worked hard to pass an overall balanced budget. We appreciate their efforts and thank them for their service to North Dakota and how they took care of students,” said NDUS Chancellor Mark Hagerott. “Higher education invests in knowledge and for the whole state. Higher education directly influences students as well as the workplaces that hire them. We work toward the betterment of the entire state and in making higher education a priority, and we know legislators across the state see how higher education serves their own communities.”

The economic impact of the NDUS on the state has risen to an estimated $5.5 billion for Fiscal Year 2019, highlighting the overall benefit to the state for the investment in higher education. “The University system and its 11 institutions provide the state with an educated workforce ready to meet the challenges of an ever-changing work environment, provide outreach and continuing education programs for the state’s residents and businesses, and create and support employment opportunities through research, extension, and teaching activities, all of which provide economic benefits to enhance local and state economies,” said Hagerott.

The 2021-23 budget will have a direct impact on higher education institutions, employees, workforce initiatives, students and research.

Some of the key successes during the legislative session that will help benefit North Dakota’s higher education system include:

  • Added $15.3 million for base funding formula model changes recommended by legislative interim committees that were developed with NDUS fiscal officers. These funds provide institutions with operating funds based upon successfully completed student credit hours.
  • Financial aid funding was increased by $4.2 million to provide scholarships to all qualifying students for the Academic and CTE Scholarship program.
  • Federal coronavirus capital projects include $70 million for a statewide career academy initiative grant program for school districts, $5 million for UND’s airport apron project and $4 million for DSU’s Pulver Hall project.
  • $78.5 million state funds for critical capital projects, including NDSU Agricultural Products Development Center, DCB Center for Rural Health Renovation, LRSC Precision agriculture building, MaSU’s natural gas conversion project and UND Space Command initiative.
  • Added $1.4 million for the Nursing Education Consortium.
  • Added $150,000 for Math Pathways program.
  • A compensation package that included an average salary increase of 1.5% with a minimum of $100 per month per employee the first year of the biennium, and 2% the next year in addition to sustaining fully funded health insurance for employees.