A majority of the $44.4 million in CARES Act funding received by the North Dakota University System will go toward technology services as the system prepares for the upcoming fall semester.
The dollars will be split among the system’s 11 campuses based on needs for telework and updating classrooms to adjust to a hybrid of online and in-person learning, said Tammy Dolan, vice chancellor for administrative affairs and chief financial officer for the system.
The money was approved during an emergency commission meeting on Thursday, June 18.
About $8.5 million is going to personal protective equipment and cleaning supplies. The other $35.9 million was requested for technology software, instructional design resources and classroom/faculty restructuring to improve physical distancing measures on campuses.
Dolan said schools in the state and the nation are having conversations about how to best hold classes in the fall. Many are choosing to have some form of hybrid classes where part of the class would be attending class in person and another part would be viewing the class remotely.
“It also allows us to be as flexible as we need to be,” Dolan said. “So, if we, heaven forbid, have what happened this spring and shift everybody online for a week or two, or however long, we could do that, too. We're setting it up so we have the alternatives that we need to be able to continue educating students in whatever format it needs to be.”
North Dakota received around $1.2 billion in CARES Act funding this spring. Since then, the emergency commission has approved more than $900 million in funds for dozens of agencies.
Here is the breakdown of how much each institution will be receiving:
University System $1,508,387
Bismarck State College $2,417,365
Lake Region State College $483,426
Williston State College $584,432
University of North Dakota $13,578,957
North Dakota State University $19,788,622
State College of Science $3,825,311
Dickinson State University $862,335
Mayville State University $248,543
Minot State University $588,379
Valley City State University $237,930
Dakota College at Bottineau $372,316
Dolan said UND and NDSU are receiving more money in part because they are larger institutions with not only more students but also because the universities have more classrooms that will need restructuring and upgrading to adjust for COVID-19 protocols.