Back in July, the state got a report about the condition of the buildings on university campuses, and it wasn’t good. The report detailed $808 million worth of deferred maintenance on the campuses, including some horror stories about research labs without working plumbing.
Now, someone in tune with the realities of the state budget and the priorities of the university system would look at that report and conclude that the university system hasn’t been using the windfall appropriations they’ve been getting from the Legislature. While the administrative payroll has bloated, while the campuses have expanded with one glittering new building after another, while the university presidents live in lavish homes and fly around in chartered airplanes (things like driving and coach class are for peasants not the well-heeled elite of our university system), their campuses have crumbled.
I wrote about it back in July.
But now someone in the university system seems to be putting a different spin on things, and they’ve gone to the media with it judging by two headlines which landed in my email inbox today.
This from the Minneapolis/St. Paul Business Journal:
Here’s a dose of reality, by way of Legislative Council, which shows appropriations to the university system over enrollment for the last several bienniums. You’ll notice that enrollment growth has been flat, but appropriations have exploded:
What’s more, the number of actual North Dakota students we’re educating is in decline while the number of out-of-state students is increasing:
It would be nice if the folks at Bloomberg or the Minneapolis/St. Paul Business Journal asked these questions, but I’m guessing that’s not the story they were pitched by the university system.