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NDSU's $6.4 million budget cut plan sent to system office has just one line

FARGO--Like most state agencies, North Dakota State University is required to come up with 4.05 percent in budget cuts to help cover the state's $1 billion revenue shortfall.

FARGO--Like most state agencies, North Dakota State University is required to come up with 4.05 percent in budget cuts to help cover the state's $1 billion revenue shortfall.

For NDSU, that means slicing $6.4 million within the current two-year budget cycle, which ends June 30, 2017. But exactly what NDSU plans to cut remains a mystery.

It was supposed to relay details about its proposed cuts to the state's University System office Thursday.

Asked for any records complying with that request, NDSU officials provided a document the school's budget director, Cynthia Rott, emailed on Monday to Cathy McDonald, finance director for the North Dakota University System.

The document has one line. It lists a reduction in "Operating Expenses" of $6,402,472.

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NDSU spokeswoman Sadie Rudolph said in an email that more details will be available next week.

State agencies must submit their cuts to the state's budget office by Wednesday. But NDSU and other public colleges and universities were asked to submit their cuts to the state university system's office by Thursday.

Areas being considered to find budget savings were professional development; sharing services across departments, programs and colleges; and delaying funding for the Grand Challenge initiative until fall 2017, according to an email Provost Beth Ingram sent to university employees.

The grand challenge areas NDSU had planned to focus research are food systems, healthy populations and sustainable energy.

NDSU will also take a harder look at hiring of faculty and staff, Ingram wrote.

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