Author Archives: Rob Port

What Is the Point of the State Board of Higher Education?

What Is the Point of the State Board of Higher Education?

There are two very ugly, very tumultuous situations in North Dakota’s university system right now. Situations in need of accountability. Transparency. Strong leadership. Unfortunately, we’re not getting it from the State Board of Higher Education. Case in point, University of North Dakota President Mark Kennedy sent a letter to campus which said he’d be leaving

Drew Wrigley, then North Dakota's lieutenant governor, meets with The Forum editorial board in 2016 in Fargo. Forum file photo

Plain Talk: New U.S. Attorney Says He’s Not Ready Yet to Talk About Lengthy Confirmation Process

It took 18 months for incoming U.S. Attorney Drew Wrigley to be confirmed, and while many in the state attribute delays to behind-the-scenes political games, Wrigley says he’s focused on the job ahead for now. “I’m not prepared to do that today,” he said when asked to talk about the process. As for doing his

Print Column: Don’t Let Politicians Deflect Criticism by Playing Victim

MINOT, N.D. — The idea that President Donald Trump put Rep. Ilhan Omar in danger because he tweeted criticism of her is absurd. And yet, it’s become a talking point for Democrats up to and including certain candidates who would like to replace Trump in the White House. Trump’s criticism of Omar’s remarks about the 9/11 attacks

UND President Mark Kennedy in his Twamley Hall office. photo by Eric Hylden/Grand Forks Herald

Kennedy Denying That He Resigned Is All About Money

Late last week North Dakota University System Chancellor Mark Hagerott sent a letter to embattled UND President Mark Kennedy accepting his tacit resignation. Kennedy had, earlier in the week, sent the campus what sure seemed like a definitive resignation letter, and Hagerott chose to view it that way. But yesterday the Grand Forks Herald reported that

Workers prepare the North Dakota House chambers for the upcoming legislative session Monday, Dec. 31, 2018. John Hageman / Forum News Service

The Legislature Is the Will of the People Too

“There are hidden contradictions in the minds of people who ‘love Nature’ while deploring the ‘artificialities’ with which ‘Man has spoiled ‘Nature’,” famed science fiction writer Robert Heinlein once wrote. “The obvious contradiction lies in their choice of words, which imply that man and his artifacts are not part of ‘Nature’ — but beavers and their

Plain Talk: Burgum Vows Veto Fight With Legislature Isn’t Over, University of Colorado Student Says Kennedy Will Face Protests on Visit

On this episode of Plain Talk, Governor Doug Burgum says a separation of powers fight with the Legislature isn’t over after lawmakers overrode his veto. He stopped short of saying his administration might take the matter back to the courts, but said if it does end up back there “the [state] Supreme Court has been

North Dakota State College of Science President John Richman and North Dakota State University President Dean Bresciani sign a memorandum of agreement to better serve the state's workforce needs Monday, June 18, at NDSU. David Samson / The Forum

Read It: Audit Report Slams “Inappropriate Activities” at North Dakota State College of Science

“A performance audit issued today by the North Dakota Office of the State Auditor shows that North Dakota State College of Science (NDSCS) has engaged in inappropriate activities surrounding the proposed Career Workforce Academy, is not meeting TrainND Southeast program goals and is overstating program results,” a press release from North Dakota Auditor Josh Gallion

Gov. Doug Burgum, right, speaks with Lt. Gov. Brent Sanford as they walk down Second Avenue with Mayor Shaun Sipma, left. Minot Daily News photo

Mayor Disappointed He Won’t Get to Keep Jacking up Fees for People Who Can’t Vote Against Him

“We’re deeply disappointed by the sole action of Representative Dan Ruby for making this local control matter a State issue,” Mayor Shaun Sipma says. Sipma is responding to legislation passed in Bismarck this session which restricts the ability of cities to charge citizens in extraterritorial zoning areas more for building permits. The genesis for the legislation

Don’t Spend the Legacy Fund (Unless You Spend It in My Back Yard)

I’ve long argued that the pot of billions of taxpayer dollars we call the Legacy Fund represents a moral hazard. Which is to say that it’s a pile of money created for no defined purpose that will now but the subject of much hypocritical political wrangling. For some insight into what I’m talking about, witness

Jesse McCloud puts up signs for voting on buses that will be used to bring voters to the polls, in the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe land in Fort Yates, N.D., Nov. 5, 2018. (Hilary Swift/Copyright 2019 The New York Times)

Plain Talk: Will It Be a Fair Hearing on Voting Rights at Standing Rock or a Political Rally?

“They’ve already taken action that would effect North Dakota.” That’s what Rep. Rodney Davis said of a Democrat-led field hearing to be held in North Dakota this week on the Standing Rock Indian Reservation. Davis is the only Republican member of the subcommittee which is holding the hearing, and he has concerns about it being

Top