Despite 96% Increase In Funding Since 2003, NDSU President Claims His University Is “Grossly Underfunded”

NDSU President Dean Brescani, who has likened the state’s universities to “starving children,” has made the decision to close the university’s Center for Child Development.

Now, I’m not exactly sure what exactly they do at the Center for Child Development. Maybe it’s a waste of money. I don’t know. But I can say that the timing of Brescani’s decision is entirely suspect. I am convinced that this is a bit of political theater meant to be used as leverage in the on-going battle between the university system and the legislature over funding.

Despite the fact that the university system will still be getting a roughly 16% increase in their budgets, the claim from the university bureaucrats is that because they’re not getting the full 21% increase in funding that Governor Dalrymple called for their budgets are being cut.

Now Brescani is closing the Center for Child Development at his university claiming that NDSU is “grossly underfunded.”

NDSU is “grossly underfunded,” and recent action by the state House of Representatives puts a further strain on resources, Bresciani said.

See how that works? Brescani and all the higher education apologists in the state can bemoan the cuts in spending for the children that the evil legislators are pushing them to make. Convenient, no?

But if Brescani is right, and NDSU is “grossly underfunded,” then we need to launch an investigation into how it is that NDSU can be so short of fund when the university system in general has seen such massive increases in funding.

General fund appropriations to higher education have gone up 63% since 2003, and tuition revenues have gone up 36%:

And if we look at NDSU specifically, their General Fund appropriations have gone up 85% since 2003 with total appropriations going up a whopping 96% in that same time frame:

NDSU is most definitely not “grossly underfunded.” NDSU is lavishly funded. Rather than throw more money at NDSU, perhaps we need to ask how existing funds are being spent.

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Rob Port is the editor of SayAnythingBlog.com. In 2011 he was a finalist for the Watch Dog of the Year from the Sam Adams Alliance and winner of the Americans For Prosperity Award for Online Excellence. In 2013 the Washington Post named SAB one of the nation's top state-based political blogs, and named Rob one of the state's best political reporters. He writes a weekly column for several North Dakota newspapers, and also serves as a policy fellow for the North Dakota Policy Council.

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