As a former president of both Mayville State University and Valley City State University, I’ve had the pleasure of watching North Dakota’s regional universities and colleges become recognized as important partners in the economic growth of our state. They prepare people for jobs and careers, support entrepreneurs, partner with regional and national businesses, enrich the lives of area residents and help keep young people in the state. They increase their regional economies by millions of dollars per year.
But not everyone shares this view. Some legislators in North Dakota have tried repeatedly to remove the colleges and universities from the state constitution. This was a thinly disguised first step toward closing any or all of the constitutionally defined campuses in Bottineau, Dickinson, Mayville, Minot, Valley City and Wahpeton.
Rick Berg was one of these legislators. Six times from 1985 to 1997, he voted against North Dakota’s regional colleges. Fortunately, the people of North Dakota strongly disagreed. In 1998 they voted overwhelmingly to support us, with only one county on the other side.
In contrast, Congressman Pomeroy has been a stalwart supporter of higher education across North Dakota. I knew I could always count on him to go to bat for our issues, and he would deliver, time and again.
So I want to thank Congressman Pomeroy for his strong service to our state and express my support for his re-election. North Dakota colleges and universities need him to keep working for all of us.
Ellen Chaffee, senior fellow and project director, Association of Governing Boards of Universities and Colleges, Bismarck