The Problems With Higher Ed Lie in Culture, Not Governance

This flyer, mailed to North Dakotans by the Dakota Leadership PAC, asks voters to oppose a constitutional amendment that would expand the size of the State Board of Higher Education and increase the length of its terms. The DLP is mostly funded by personal donations from Governor Doug Burgum (Photo by Rob Port)

MINOT, N.D. — For years, North Dakota State University has struggled with a chemistry building, Dunbar Hall, which has been in embarrassingly poor condition.

Back in 2014, the Associated Press was reporting that people who work in the building had to lug water because the pipes didn’t work.

In June of 2017, fire inspectors found significant violations in the building.

In December of 2017, the building caught fire.

During the end of the 2019 legislative session, lawmakers debated a $51.2 million package to address the situation that included $3.2 million in fundraising.

Only, some Fargo-area lawmakers warned that raising that amount for a chemistry lab was unlikely.

“West Fargo Republican Rep. Michael Howe has warned that it wasn’t feasible to raise that much money for a general education building,” reporter John Hageman wrote at the time.

At the same time, NDSU was in the process of raising $37.2 million for a new football practice facility.

Startling, isn’t it?

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Rob Port is the editor of SayAnythingBlog.com, a columnist for the Forum News Service, and host of the Plain Talk Podcast which you can subscribe to by clicking here.

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