Update: This may be out of the hands of the SBHE as a group of legislators has just asked Attorney General Wayne Stenehjem for a legal opinion on the bill, and given that Stenehjem has already said before that such a law would be unconstitutional, the outcome is most assured.
“Board President Jon Backes said he expects the board will discuss at its June meeting whether it’s appropriate for the board to challenge the action taken by the Legislature requiring UND to keep the Sioux nickname,” reports the Grand Forks Herald. “Backes asked members to think about whether they want to fight the Legislature over the issue.”
Funny how little we hear of this “fight the legislature” stuff during the actual legislative sessions. I guess that’s politics.
But this illustrates, yet again, just how poorly served North Dakota is in having an independent board of higher education which is constructed like a 4th branch of government. There ought to be no question that the Board of Higher Education will do what the legislature and/or governor tells it to do. After all, that is why we elect legislators and the governor. To run the state.
Nobody elects these board members, which is central to the problems that plague North Dakota’s higher education system from overspending to university officials who see themselves as immune to the will of the people.
The board of higher education ought to be made directly accountable to the governor, and there was a bill in the recent legislative session to do just that, though it was voted down. Which is no doubt why the SBHE is talking of “fighting” the legislature now, but didn’t breathe a word of such things then.