DSU outlines funding requestsIf things go according to plan for Gov. Jack Dalrymple’s proposed Executive Budget for the 2013-2015 biennium, Dickinson State University employees could see cost-of-living wage increases.
By: Bryan Horwath and TJ Jerke, The Dickinson Press
If things go according to plan for Gov. Jack Dalrymple’s proposed Executive Budget for the 2013-2015 biennium, Dickinson State University employees could see cost-of-living wage increases.
Though the details have yet to be ironed out, DSU President D.C. Coston said a planned $5 million increase in the DSU budget would be partly used to offset the rising costs associated with living and working in western North Dakota.
“We believe the governor’s budget is very good,” Coston said Monday. “We realize that it’s been getting more expensive to live in this area and our goal is to attract and retain outstanding talent, so we think additional compensation for our faculty and staff is in order.”
Coston said Monday it wasn’t clear exactly how much the potential employee raises would be worth or distributed.
The plan on the table would bump DSU’s budget up to $28 million for the biennium beginning July 1 and add five full-time equivalent staff members. Coston joined leaders from the other 10 North Dakota public institutions of higher education to provide updates and overview to the Senate Education Committee.
Coston said he also had a good visit with members of the Senate Appropriations Committee. Coston was appointed DSU president a year ago after a short stint as acting president following the 2011 ouster of Richard McCallum, who was effectively fired after the recommendation of an administrative law judge.
“(Coston) is trying not to just restore the integrity of the university but to do what is best for the students,” said Sen. Nicole Poolman, R-Bismarck.
Poolman added that she thought Coston addressed the issues without ignoring any facts or trying to skip around details. She said Coston was sincere when talking about the students.
“Coston walked into a mess, there’s no question about that,” said Sen. Donald Schaible, R-Mott, vice chairman of the Education Committee. “We want to be assured the mess is cleaned up and it won’t happen again.”
While in Bismarck, Coston highlighted the 99 percent of 2011 DSU graduates who are employed, in the military or in graduate school. He also showcased the 2012 business graduates that placed in the top 29 percent of the Educational Testing Service Major Field Tests, a nationally recognized test for business graduates.
Theodore Roosevelt Center spotlighted
Coston also emphasized DSU’s one-of-a-kind Theodore Roosevelt Center, which houses a digital library that will serve as a repository for Roosevelt-related documents and hosts several Roosevelt-related events on the DSU campus.
“The Theodore Roosevelt Center is a great asset for Dickinson State University and for our area,” Coston said. “It’s a program of exceptional quality that DSU has nurtured and done a wonderful job with. We recently had filmmaker Ken Burns and NFL Films request materials from the center.”
Burns is perhaps best known for his PBS documentary films “Baseball” and “The Civil War” while NFL Films has secured dozens of sports Emmys over the years. Coston said he was unsure of the context for materials requested.
During Coston’s testimony last week, he said DSU contributed $157 million economic impact in 2011, according to Economic Impact of the North Dakota University System data.