It's a big business and it needs a new direction.
That's how North Dakota State House Majority Leader Al Carlson describes higher education in the state.
Carlson was a guest of the Minot Area Chamber of Commerce governmental affairs committee today.
He took questions from the group - and the first query was about the legislature's effort to disband the State Board of Higher Education and replace it with a three-person, full-time board.
Carlson says higher education is now a two billion dollar enterprise in the state and it requires full-time oversight by board members who must answer to the public.
He says it's important for the legislature to expect results from the higher education system.
(Rep. Al Carlson, -R- Majority Leader) "North Dakota, per capita, is the highest state in the nation per capita in its contribution to higher education funding. So our citizens are stepping to the plate and they're doing the job and we need to make sure that trickles down that we're not duplicating programs, that we're looking at online education, that we're providing the things we need to get a workforce. And that's the job of higher ed. It's not to see how many sociology majors we can graduate, it's to see how many people we can train that'll be active participants and taxpayers in our state."
The proposal to do away with the current 8-member board of higher education and replace it with a 3-person board will be on the November ballot