By Hudson Washburn | Santa Clara, California
I grew up in North Dakota and graduated from one of the state’s universities obtaining a quality, transformative education that subsequently put me in good stead during my career in high tech. That quality higher education is now jeopardized by legislative action that unduly restricts educators’ independence. Pulling up stakes is not easy, so it may be that few current faculty members leave. However, for prospective future faculty, a decision to avoid a state that’s developing a reputation for a restrictive teaching environment will be quite easy.
Educated North Dakota young people – generally independent, well-rounded, disciplined - make outsized contributions to the leadership and growth of the state and our nation. They are one reason my wife and I set up a couple of scholarships. Now alumni donors, such as us, need to consider whether to invest in an educational system that is likely to deteriorate or some other states’.
The impact from faculty and donor funding decisions will inevitably be reductions in educational quality. Residents should ask legislators whether in their zeal to micromanage higher education, they have inadvertently set up conditions for a downward spiraling educational system.
Washburn is a former resident of Edgeley, N.D.