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Amy Dalrymple, Forum News Service, Published September 30 2010

NDSU President Dean Bresciani makes case for funding

North Dakota State University President Dean Bresciani will give his first state of the university address today.

Although the speech is delivered for the campus community, the underlying message seems to be directed at legislators.

In an advanced copy of the speech, Bresciani highlights the competitive advantage North Dakota has compared to most other states that are facing budget deficits.

“We are facing a window of opportunity that is open today, but it will in fact close on a foreseeable timeline,” Bresciani says in the speech.

He touts the impact that NDSU has had on the state’s economy, and the potential for the university to transform the state over the next 100 years.

“We know that higher education is a powerful way to expand the economy of a state, diversify the tax base and create jobs,” he says. “We do that by creating the new knowledge, that leads to new technologies, that lead to new businesses, that lead to new jobs.”

Bresciani references the University of North Dakota several times in his speech and calls for an investment in the two research universities.

He says it’s ironic that the other campuses in the North Dakota University System are supported closer to their peers, while the two flagship research universities are not.

“As major economic engines of our state, and the most likely factors in changing North Dakota’s future, I find that troubling, if not indefensible.”

Bresciani says in the speech his goal as NDSU president is to focus on getting support so faculty, staff and students can excel.

He also says he plans to seek resources to better maintain NDSU’s facilities.

“Most are in a condition that threatens our productivity, and wastes valuable state resources,” Bresiciani says.

Bresciani does not specifically mention former President Joseph Chapman, recent audits of NDSU or other controversies, but acknowledges that NDSU had been through some “rocky times” before he arrived.

But in his travels around the state, Bresciani said he has found “people who believe in what we do here, who want our good work to continue, who want us to increase what we do, and, more specifically, want us to increase what we contribute to North Dakota and the people of our state.”

If you go

  • What: NDSU President Dean Bresciani’s state of the university address

  • When: 11 a.m. today

  • Where: Festival Concert Hall

  • Info: A webcast and the script of the speech will be available at www.ndsu.edu/president/speeches.

    Readers can reach Forum reporter Amy Dalrymple at (701) 241-5590