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Letter: GOP tax reform will hurt research at our universities

Having taught in both the North and South Dakota State University systems, I can say without question that Sens. John Hoeven, Mike Rounds and John Thune, as well as Reps. Kevin Cramer and Kristi Noem, have utterly betrayed the educators and students of all the state institutions by supporting the current versions of the tax reform bills.

How are the states going to support their research centers when graduate students are set to be taxed on tuition reductions they never see in their pockets?

Having earned my graduate degrees while working as a graduate assistant, I can assure those who aren't familiar that it does not support a lavish lifestyle. I had one of the best assistantships in my field while I attended Michigan State University, and it almost paid my rent. I am eternally thankful for the years of practical teaching experience I received in return for the hours of work I put in. This is how graduate students are trained for future careers!

To raise taxes on graduate students in this way will lead to fewer students in our state institutions and, ultimately, fewer doctors in our clinics, and fewer research scientists working in our medical, agricultural and technological fields.

We tout our research corridors now, but this tax bill is poised to destroy the system. I ask you to join me in speaking out against this attack on our current and future vibrant community of graduate students.

Fogderud lives in Fargo.

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