Podcast: SBHE Chair Says Burgum’s Proposed Cuts to University Budgets Are Achievable, “We Will Live Within the Budget”

Superintendent Don Morton spoke about Governor Doug Burgum’s proposed 10 percent cuts to the North Dakota University System on the radio show today.

“Every organization has room to find efficiencies,” Morton told me, acknowledging that the universities “let programs grow” in the past which perhaps shouldn’t have.

“I really like Doug’s approach,” Morton continued. “Let’s not act like an agency, let’s act like an enterprise.”

He said “faculty and staff” are concerned about the proposed cuts, and claimed they hadn’t received pay increases in “several years.”

Still, when I asked Morton if Burgum’s budget targets are achievable, he said yes. “We will live within the budget,” adding that he didn’t like the claim from some (he didn’t name who) that Burgum is anti-higher education.

Superintendent Kirsten Baesler was also on to talk about a new public information dashboard for the state’s K-12 schools. “I’m very proud of this,” she said of the data. She said launching the website did get some opposition from certain education groups. She said they were “very concerned about people not being able to interpret the data correctly.”

The full audio of today’s show is below. If you would like the audio delivered to your devices daily, subscribe to the podcast.

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Rob Port is the editor of SayAnythingBlog.com, a columnist for the Forum News Service, and the host of the Rob (Re)Port on Fargo-based WDAY AM970 from noon-2pm weekdays.

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