One of the most important issues confronting our State’s next Governor is performance of a critical review of North Dakota’s higher education system. Over the last dozen years the people and the legislature have lost control of this most important institution. It is time we address this lack of attention, failed oversight and loss of any rational management of our college and university system.
The recent Performance Audit of Dickinson State University has provided the outline of the steps that must be taken to reform higher education in North Dakota. The problems at Dickinson State University are unfortunately not unique to that institution. In one form or another proper review, management and oversight of each of our colleges’ and universities’ must be instituted.
There is nothing as important to a harmonious and prosperous society as the effectiveness and integrity of our public education system. Exemplary and fastidious management must be brought to bear. I pledge as Governor to undertake this long neglected responsibility. I will personally, actively and aggressively take the steps needed to make this institution accountable to those of us who provide the resources to underwrite them.
A strong system that teaches and promotes the values of our community and provides the talents necessary for a productive and civil society is of paramount importance. As such this institution needs to serve as an example of integrity, responsibility and management excellence.
The lack of oversight and accountability of our higher education must end now. It’s time we begin the journey that can and will make North Dakota’s higher education system the envy of the Nation.
North Dakota’s higher education system must be measured by its excellence as a demanding academic institution not its enrollment. The purpose of education is to educate. As Governor I shall move us forward with that as our goal.