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SBHE rejects full out-of-state tuition proposal, passes motion allowing NDSU to offer deviated tuition rates

North Dakota State College of Science President John Richman and North Dakota State University President Dean Bresciani sign a memorandum of agreement to better serve the state's workforce needs Monday, June 18, at NDSU. David Samson / The Forum

BISMARCK — A request proposed by North Dakota State University that would have given all university presidents flexibility to allow out-of-state students to have in-state tuition was rejected by the State Board of Higher Education Monday night, Dec. 17.

However, board member Daniel Traynor instead made a motion that would allow NDSU the chance to deviate tuition for out-of-state students from Iowa, Nebraska, Montana, Wyoming, South Dakota and Colorado but only for two years. NDSU would also be required to report its financial findings back to the board after the two years is up.

The discussion about in-state tuition for out-of-state students started earlier this month when the South Dakota Board of Regents voted to allow students from six different states to have in-state tuition.

Traynor noted the motion does not require NDSU to apply a tuition deviation to the six states, but leaves it to their discretion.

“I believe that as a board we need to require accountability,” Traynor said.

The issue was originally brought up Monday during a special budget and finance committee meeting just before the full board meeting and garnered extensive discussion.

NDSU President Dean Bresciani expressed frustration regarding Traynor’s proposal both during the committee meeting and the full board meeting.

“It seems interesting to single out one campus of 11 with very different rules, but I defer to the authority of the board,” Bresciani said during the meeting.

NDSU’s original proposal would have allowed all university presidents the authority to establish tuition rates between 100 percent and 175 percent of in-state tuition. The proposal did not limit the states the institutions could choose from.

Tuition rates for out-of-state students cannot be any lower than 120 percent of in-state-tuition.

North Dakota State College of Science also made a similar proposal to NDSU, which was also met with nearly the same motion by Traynor but included the Canadian provinces of Manitoba and Saskatchewan.

NDSCS President John Richman also expressed frustration regarding the motion, in particular its requirements that the school be required to report back its findings. He said the requirement was not clear.

Nick Hacker, who serves as chair of the budget and finance committee, recommended the board move quickly on the matter going forward.

Other institutions did not comment on the proposal during the meeting.

The board passed both of Traynor’s motions.