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Amy Dalrymple, Forum News Service, Published January 20 2011

NDSU makes case for more funding

North Dakota State University President Dean Bresciani made the case Wednesday for more funding in front of a legislative committee in Bismarck.

NDSU is requesting a base funding increase of $22 million, or a 19.9 percent increase over the 2009-11 biennium.

Bresciani, in his presentation to the House Appropriations Education and Environment Committee, highlighted that NDSU ranks last among the 11 system campuses in how it’s funded relative to its peers.

NDSU has performed well even though it receives about 39 percent of the funding that similar universities receive, Bresciani said.

The budget request includes about $7 million in equity funding for NDSU. If approved, that would bring NDSU’s position up to 46 percent, but it would still be further away from its peers than any campus in the system.

After the hearing, Bresciani said NDSU and the University of North Dakota have greater potential to contribute to the state’s economy if they were funded better.

“We’re being reined back,” he said.

Bresciani also emphasized to legislators the need for infrastructure improvements. He said there’s a perception among legislators that campuses only want more buildings.

The reality is, most buildings at NDSU are 25 to 50 years old or even older, and need to be maintained, he said.

“At NDSU in particular, most of our buildings are way past their time,” Bresciani said.

In addition to the base funding request, NDSU is asking for nearly $4.7 million for small- to medium-sized building projects.

Grand Forks Herald reporter Tu-Uyen Tran contributed to this report

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