SBHE Voices Concerns about the House Version of HB 1003, Supports ND Student Association Position on the University System Budget Bill
Posted on 2/23/2011
For Immediate Release:
For More Information Contact:
Feb. 23, 2011
Debra A. Anderson, Director of Public Affairs and Marketing
North Dakota University System
State Board of Higher Education Voices Concerns about the House Version of HB 1003, Supports North Dakota Student Association Position on the University System Budget Bill
BISMARCK, N.D. - Jon Backes, president of the State Board of Higher Education, today voiced concern about HB 1003, the North Dakota University System budget bill, as approved by the House of Representatives. As amended, several important initiatives recommended by the SBHE have been removed. The budget bill now goes to the Senate for review and approval.
The North Dakota Student Association also opposes the proposed cuts to the higher education budget bill and outlined its position on the amendments during a Feb. 21, 2011, news conference.
"The North Dakota Student Association and the State Board of Higher Education share similar concerns about HB 1003 as amended and passed by the House," Backes said. "These amendments eliminate funding for budget initiatives proposed by our board and supported by Governor Dalrymple. Among other impacts, the amendments remove funding increases that would have allowed the University System to reduce tuition increases, address equity problems, initiate performance-based funding and continue the Teacher STEM Education Program initiated by the Legislature in 2009. Each of these changes will have a significant impact on our students and our campuses."
Backes said removal of $6.6 million intended to limit tuition increases is especially troubling.
Our state is enjoying an unprecedented budget surplus," he said. "At the same time, the North Dakota University System is encouraging students to attend college in North Dakota and build their futures here. Increasing tuition - when times are this good - sends a very different message to students and their parents.
"The University System provides access to high-quality, affordable higher education," Backes said. "The tuition increases that will result from this amendment may, in effect, limit access for some students. If we are to continue building upon North Dakota's success and continue to diversify North Dakota's economy, we must take steps now to cultivate a well-trained and well-educated workforce for the 21st century, as well as our next generation of leaders."