Rob Port: State Board of Higher Education wisely declines to give university presidents a blank check on tuition

North Dakota State College of Science President John Richman and North Dakota State University President Dean Bresciani sign a memorandum of agreement to better serve the state's workforce needs Monday, June 18, at NDSU. David Samson / The Forum
North Dakota State College of Science President John Richman and North Dakota State University President Dean Bresciani sign a memorandum of agreement to better serve the state's workforce needs Monday, June 18, at NDSU. David Samson / The Forum

A recent spat between State Board of Higher Education members and a couple of university presidents over tuition policy for out-of-state students illustrates exactly why Governor Doug Burgum’s proposed changes to university governance are such a bad idea.

If you haven’t been following along, recently South Dakota announced that they would be granting in-state tuition status to students from neighboring states like North Dakota. Presidents of institutions in the North Dakota University System – notably NDSU’s Dean Bresciani and Wahpeton’s John Richman – hit the panic button and rushed to the State Board of Higher Education demanding a blank check to set their own tuition policy.

“We have the opportunity to respond to an immediate enrollment threat to the state of North Dakota,” Bresciani told the board at a December 6 meeting. “When I say immediate, I don’t mean somewhere down the road. We’re in the heat of the enrollment cycle right now. South Dakota was not accidental for implementing this for this summer.”

Click here to continue reading Rob Port's Say Anything blog.