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DSU faculty receives funding update

During his forum last week, President of Dickinson State University Thomas Mitzel gave the DSU faculty an update on the status of higher education funding after meeting with legislators. Mitzel addressed the governor's prior proposal of a 10 perc...

(Kayla Henson / The Dickinson Press)
(Kayla Henson / The Dickinson Press)

During his forum last week, President of Dickinson State University Thomas Mitzel gave the DSU faculty an update on the status of higher education funding after meeting with legislators.

Mitzel addressed the governor's prior proposal of a 10 percent cut to higher education institutions.

"The governor, if you recall, originally requested a 10 percent allocation to all higher education," he said. "The House, when they voted on the budget ... left the needs-based portion of that budget, so we're better off than we would have been under the governor."

The governor had recommended a campus operations budget of $17,588,442 for DSU. Under the needs-based budget proposed by the State Board of Higher Education, DSU would receive $17,806,843-- an increase of $218,401.

The governor's recommendation, however, included $750,000 for the Theodore Roosevelt Center-a digital collection of all the records relating to Theodore Roosevelt throughout his life. The SBHE budget did not, but Mitzel has asked for $800,000 for the TRC to be added.

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There are two types of funding a university receives, the first being base-level funding that is given every year. The second type is one-time funding.

"Sometimes, they'll write it in as a sunset clause, sunset meaning there's an end to it. You can count on this money for this biennium, but it won't be included in your base-level funding for the next biennium," said Michelle Wilson, public relations coordinator, about one-time funding.

The last biennium's one-time funding is over, but Mitzel has asked the Senate Appropriations Committee to consider including it in the budget this biennium, too, to support its dual mission efforts.

The university is starting new programs as part of its dual mission, which expands their offerings to include graduate community education, certificate programs, associate degrees and graduate degrees. Of these programs, DSU is working toward including a Certificate of Welding, Certificate of Wellness, Certificate of Strength and Conditioning, Certificate of Corrective Exercise, Associate of Science with emphasis in Biology, Chemistry, Geology and Engineering. This summer, they will provide a communication skills workshop and Certificate of Completion for Certified Nursing Assistant. Spring of 2020, they will add a Master of Arts in Entrepreneurship. These programs would have initial start-up costs that one-time funding could cover.

To fulfill DSU's dual mission, they would need a combination of one-time funding and base-level funding.

"For some of the programs that we would like to do, we would be looking for a mix of one-time (funding), which could be computers, desks, technology ... and we would also need to look at some investment in staff. Whenever you invest in staff, you can't call it one-time funding. You need to ask for recurring funds," said Marie Moe, executive director of communications and public affairs.

Mitzel is also pushing for innovative program funds to help with their dual mission's new programs, as is the North Dakota University System. Mitzel met with legislators to discuss the financial support DSU would need.

"We came out to just about $2.6 million ... I don't know if we'll get the full $2.6 million, but I think we will get support above and beyond the needs-based budget," he said.

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Cuts to the Challenge Grant are also being proposed-- from the governor's suggestion of $40 million down to the House's proposal of $200,000. The Challenge Grant matches funds donated to the university.

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Related Topics: DICKINSON STATE UNIVERSITY
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