Gov. Doug Burgum’s executive budget proposal could cut funding to colleges and universities across the state.

The total funding for higher education for the next two years is proposed at $2.6 billion. This includes a general fund decrease of $9.3 million from the last two years’ legislative base level.

The governor says this reflects a trend in decreasing enrollment and a 7.5% reduction in the formula payment rate.

The North Dakota University System’s Chancellor says this budget cut could result in many job losses, which he feels isn’t a good time for that, if at all.

“The higher education system is a crucial tool to help bring North Dakota back from this crisis and this is not a time I think to have to lay off more faculty and staff who have done this incredible work,” Mark Hagerott said.

Burgum says higher education is faced with technological advances and other challenges, but it’s time to adapt.