Data contradicts original reason for NDSCS expansion but project still a go
BISMARCK - One of North Dakota State College of Science's original reasons for expanding into a Fargo campus was found to be unsubstantiated, but the state Board of Higher Education continues to support the project. At a meeting of the board's bu...
BISMARCK – One of North Dakota State College of Science’s original reasons for expanding into a Fargo campus was found to be unsubstantiated, but the state Board of Higher Education continues to support the project.
At a meeting of the board’s budget and finance committee Friday, committee Chairman Don Morton challenged the NDSCS president’s claim that when North Dakota students go to community college in Minnesota, they don’t return.
During the full board’s Sept. 3 meeting, NDSCS President John Richman said, “We also believe that when they go across the river, their workforce goes east and does not come west.”
That’s not true, Morton said Friday.
“It turns out that over the last three years, 74 percent of M State grads have been hired by North Dakota companies,” he said.
Minnesota State Community and Technical College, or M State, has campuses in Moorhead, Detroit Lakes, Fergus Falls and Wadena.
In September, Richman highlighted that 70 percent of NDSCS graduates stay in the state to work.
“If this is the project we want to move forward with, provide some data so we can make a good decision,” Morton said.
Richman then gave an impassioned presentation about how the addition of the NDSCS campus in Fargo would fit with the university system’s new strategic plan for 2015-20.
Goals such as attracting nontraditional students and providing education at “the best value in the nation” are possible if the two-year school is given space to grow, he said.
Richman called the expansion “desperately needed to reduce the workforce shortage.”
Board members were convinced by his presentation and decided not to change their original capital funding request of $10 million, which is awaiting legislators’ approval.
That amount would cover Phase 1 of the expansion, with the assumption that more money would be allocated later.