Task force studies roles
BISMARCK - North Dakota needs a unified higher education system, not a uniform one, said the North Dakota State University president. Joseph Chapman said Tuesday during a meeting here that lately there has been more emphasis on uniformity. A task...
BISMARCK - North Dakota needs a unified higher education system, not a uniform one, said the North Dakota State University president.
Joseph Chapman said Tuesday during a meeting here that lately there has been more emphasis on uniformity.
A task force of university presidents, state Board of Higher Education members and vice chancellors of the North Dakota University System met Tuesday to discuss roles and responsibilities within the system.
They will meet more times between now and August to develop a recommendation for state Board of Higher Education members at their annual retreat.
Part of their discussion involves defining a unified higher education system.
Using ConnectND as an example, Chapman said the administrative software system has not adequately addressed the needs of the research universities to track grants and contracts.
"You can't just say we (the 11 campuses) are all the same and treat us all the same," Chapman said.
Pam Kostelecky, chairwoman of the task force and board president, pointed out that collaboration is often necessary to accomplish projects that would be too costly for campuses to do independently.
University presidents want the board and the chancellor to aggressively work toward securing adequate state funding for the campuses, said Minot State University President David Fuller.
The task force members discussed the possibility of going to a three-tiered system. The tiers would be broken down by two-year, four-year and doctoral programs.
Task force members said a three-tiered system could create new problems, including competition between the tiers for funding from the Legislature.
Board of Higher Education member Richie Smith of Wahpeton said he's experienced some communication problems with the chancellor and the system office.
Smith said he'd like board members to have more conversations with Chancellor Robert Potts before or after board meetings to talk about issues that weren't covered in the meeting.
"There needs to be more one on one," Smith said.
Smith said he'd also like a report directly from each university president at each board meeting.
The task force did not set the date of its next meeting.
Readers can reach Forum reporter Amy Dalrymple at (701) 241-5590