From The Left: Bits And Pieces On Higher Education


My whole family returned from a vacation last week with a major bug, so as I am not feeling the best, I thought I would borrow from Ralph Kingsbury and write a few short points that are not long enough for full columns.

UND Needs a New Nickname

As a nation we are crazy about college sports, and North Dakota is no different. I have attended some very fun athletic events at both UND and NDSU, however, in general, college sports have never appealed to me. The UND nickname debate is over. The Sioux nickname has been retired. This silly effort by UND to not have a nickname is just prolonging an argument that is a waste of time. Let the school get a new name and move on. When that is done, perhaps we can have some debate about Higher Ed that actually involves the education of students.

NDSU Plane Owner is a Major GOP Donor

Rob has done a great job of highlighting the sale of North Dakota State University’s controversial airplane to Scheels Sporting Goods, run by well-known NDSU booster Steve Scheel. However, Scheel’s family is also a major donor to Republican candidates, including one of the biggest donors to the failed Rick Berg for Senate campaign. Scheels Sporting Goods has also hosted a Tea Party Rally and has taken out several newspaper ads misquoting Thomas Jefferson on taxes and spending issues. Apparently, taxes and government spending is a bad thing for Scheels, unless you have fond memories of your college experience.

Higher Ed and Number of State Employees

After reading Mike Marcil’s interesting column on the comparisons between North Dakota and South Dakota, I decided to do a little extra research. According to the Census Bureau, North Dakota has 18,897 FTE’s in state government and South Dakota has 14,971 FTE’s for a difference of 3,926.

Where is the biggest area of difference? You guessed it, Higher Ed. North Dakota has 4,101 more FTE’s in Higher Ed than South Dakota. If you exclude Higher ED, North Dakota has less state FTE’s than South Dakota.

So keep that in mind when other areas of Government state the need for new FTE’s to handle the growth in North Dakota.

Also, keep that in mind when talking about the exploding costs of Higher Ed.