Other views: Public universities in N.D. need more oversightThe State Board of Higher Education last month solved the problem of cost overruns for new presidents’ homes built by the University of North Dakota and North Dakota State University.
By: Minot Daily News, The Jamestown Sun
The State Board of Higher Education last month solved the problem of cost overruns for new presidents’ homes built by the University of North Dakota and North Dakota State University.
Somewhat grudgingly, the board members agreed to let NDSU use nearly $200,000 of its own money to cover cost overruns, although the money will not be from funds that come from tuition or taxpayer dollars. The plan will need approval from the Legislature’s Budget Section. UND will use private money to cover roughly $261,000 in cost overruns in building its new presidential home and an alumni center.
The board had approved about $900,000 for each project, with the NDSU Development Foundation, the school’s fundraising foundation, agreeing to cover most of any cost overruns. The price of the home ballooned to more than $2 million, and the ensuing criticism was one reason cited by NDSU President Joseph Chapman for his resignation. He left his job at the end of November.
The incidents should bring about changes in oversight of such projects in the future. It’s unacceptable that the cost of the NDSU project more than doubled, and the leadership at NDSU and its foundation no doubt have more questions to answer. The board ultimately solved the issue the best, and probably only, way it could, and at least no taxpayer money will be involved in paying for the mistakes.