GRAND FORKS — Members of the North Dakota Council on Higher Education on Thursday, April 28 approved the establishment of several educational programs at institutions across the state.
The creation of the programs and the termination of one show action by individual campuses to create needed programs in the state, North Dakota University System Chancellor Mark Hagerott said. Programs range from health and sports to advanced technology. The issue of funding for these programs, Hagerott said, still needs to be considered.
“This is just another example of campuses adapting, not standing still,” Hagerott said. “There are programs geared towards human health, (with) the whole epidemic of obesity, hypertension and substance abuse, but there are also all these emerging advanced technologies.”
Hagerott noted that state funding is “retrospective” and it takes several years for a program to generate revenue, which can put more pressure on smaller regional colleges in the state. Colleges and universities may need to find funding by closing some programs and looking at “more traditional elements of the status quo.”
Hagerott said campuses want to adapt and meet student needs, but additional funding may be needed to help set up new programs.
“It should be helpful to have some type of start-up capital to accelerate the adaptations of these university programs even more,” he said.
In total, board members improved the creation of 10 new academic programs. Bismarck State College has the bulk of these new programs with seven having been licensed. Programs include undergraduate certificates in applied design technology, clinical exercise science, and an applied associate degree in artificial intelligence and machine learning, among others.
Dickinson State University has been given the green light to create a bachelor’s degree in health education. Dakota College in Bottineau and Williston State College can now move forward with undergraduate certificates in cybersecurity. These latest programs expand cybersecurity education in the state and were created in conjunction with other institutions.
UND had requested, and board members agreed, to eliminate a minor and a bachelor of science in graphic design technology. Lisa Johnson, vice-chancellor for academic and student affairs, noted that there were no students enrolled in the graphic design course.
Council members also appointed four people to the State Council for Agricultural Research and Education. SBARE is a statutory board that oversees budgeting and policy development for the North Dakota Agricultural Experiment Station and North Dakota State University Expansion.
The appointed members are: Pam Gulleson, Julie Zikmund, John Nordgaard and Doug Bichler. They will serve four-year terms beginning July 1.
Members also thanked NDSU President Dean Bresciani for his service to the school. At a meeting in June last year, board members did not give Bresciani a two-year contract. He will leave his position in December and take up a full professorship in health sciences and education. When asked for a comment from Board Chairman Casey Ryan, Bresciani was brief:
“Thank you for the recognition,” he said.