DSU breathes sigh of relief after lawmakers approve additional funding

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A stalemate, back and forths and cuts on the line.

But, at the end of the session, lawmakers decided to provide additional funding for Dickinson State University. 

“Can we continue to give our students the best possible education, today the answer is yes,” DSU President Tom Mitzel said.

The past few months have been exhausting for President Mitzel.

The university faced steep budget cuts, as lawmakers debated on whether to give the university additional funding.

“We were all worried,” he said. “We were all hoping for the best outcome and planning for whatever would arise.”

The outcome of the legislative session and the higher education bill provided the university with more than 11 million dollars.

They’ll now operate a budget of just under 24 million, after facing a 42 percent cut.

“People understand where Dickinson is right now and where it’s headed and we are working very hard to make sure we become solvent hopefully in the next three or four years,” President Mitzel said.

Despite the legislature’s efforts, President Mitzel says the university is still dealing with a sizable reduction.

“By the end of next week, I hope to have everything taken care of, so I can make an announcement to the campus as a whole.”

With the additional funding, President Mitzel doesn’t have to make in what he calls a “painful decision” to cut the nursing department and two sports teams.

“It was a rough road, but very much relieved now,” Dr. Mary Ann Marsh, chair of the Department of Nursing. 

When I talked with Dr. Marsh a few months ago, she had plans to retire…not knowing what was going to happen with the nursing program.

After the good news, she’s happy to know her job is safe and students won’t be affected.

“Absolutely elated and relieved at the same time.”

President Mitzel says he’s extremely pleased with the bill and thanks lawmakers for their efforts

The DSU amendments includes more than 3 million for the Biesiot Activities Center and money for the Theodore Roosevelt President Library Foundation.

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