To Reinvent Education in North Dakota, Let’s Take Existing Universities Out of the State Constitution

Gov. Doug Burgum, shown during his State of the State address Wednesday, Jan. 29, in Grand Forks. Photo by Eric Hylden/Grand Forks Herald

North Dakota’s public university system already has eleven institutions, with the location and function of eight of them mandated in our state’s constitution.

They are named there because when the politicians drafted the constitution, they were busy doling out government jobs to their districts. In addition to the eight universities, the state constitution also mandates the location of the state mental hospital (Jamestown), the state veterans home (Lisbon), and numerous other institutions.

That now-ancient horsetrading has left North Dakota in a weak position to, well, reinvent government as Burgum wants to do.

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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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