Fixing ConnectND is urgent problem
Nearly half a billion dollars in grant money is at risk if North Dakota campuses don't solve a software crisis, an official said Thursday. A new statewide software system makes it difficult for campuses to keep track of grants and contracts, said...
Nearly half a billion dollars in grant money is at risk if North Dakota campuses don't solve a software crisis, an official said Thursday.
A new statewide software system makes it difficult for campuses to keep track of grants and contracts, said Phil Boudjouk, a member of the project's oversight committee.
North Dakota State University and the University of North Dakota have nearly a half-billion dollars in active grants, he said.
If that money isn't accounted for carefully, the funding could be lost, said Boudjouk, also NDSU's vice president for research, creative activities and technology transfer.
"If you can't handle the money, you're going to lose it," Boudjouk said. "This is a paramount issue."
State Board of Higher Education members on Thursday asked each campus to provide reports of problems associated with ConnectND, the name for the program designed to connect all the campuses.
In February, board members will discuss the problems and start developing solutions.
The board will also decide in February what to do with a policy that governs a fee students pay for ConnectND.
Full-time students pay $81 a semester, which is above a $42 cap written into the policy.
Chancellor Robert Potts said the policy was overlooked when fee increases were approved. He is recommending a new policy that does not include a cap on the fee, which some student leaders oppose.
Kevin Teigen, NDSU's student body president, thanked board members for waiting until next month to take action on the policy.
Student groups will continue discussing the issue and make a recommendation at February's meeting.
Also Thursday, board members urged Potts to find ways to save money in a new initiative to recruit foreign students.
The board allocated $1.5 million in November toward recruiting international students.
Board member Richie Smith said money saved in that initiative could free up some funding to fix ConnectND.
In other business, board members unanimously approved distributing $2 million allocated by the Legislature to correct unfair funding.
NDSU will receive $900,000, Bismarck State College and Lake Region State College in Devils Lake will each receive $400,000, and UND will receive $300,000.
Readers can reach Forum reporter Amy Dalrymple at (701) 241-5590