State legislators are likely to be hearing a request from UND and NDSU to allocate $100 million over two years to beef up research efforts at the universities.
Today, the presidents of those two institutions began a tour of western North Dakota, hoping to build support for the plan.
Jim Olson was there as the tour began in Minot.
(Dean Bresciani, NDSU President) “We’re trying to make history here because we see a history-making opportunity.”
The opportunity that NDSU President Dean Bresciani and UND President Mark Kennedy see is expanded research at their campuses designed to expand and stabilize the economy of the entire state.
(Mark Kennedy, UND President) “The cyclical ups and downs are really hurting the state. If we could smooth that out by adding to oil and soil with some of the developments that could emerge through research, that’s a great opportunity that would benefit the whole state.”
The two presidents are asking state legislators to consider devoting $100 million in the coming biennium to UND and NDSU to be used to leverage federal and private funds to greatly expand research at the what the Carnegie Foundation rates as the state’s only institutions doing a high level of research.
(Dean Bresciani, NDSU President) 0815 “Our hope is the legislature would find some source of state funding – perhaps interest on the legacy fund, not the principle – to provide a specialized stream of support.”
(Mark Kennedy, UND President) 0520 “We have a great opportunity to diversify the economy in North Dakota and nothing does that better than research and research universities.”
(Sen. Karen Krebsbach, (R) Minot) 2735 “It’s an admirable idea that the two of them are getting together to collaborate.”
Longtime State Senator Karen Krebsbach says despite that collaboration, it may be a tough sell in Bismarck.
(Sen. Karen Krebsbach, (R) Minot) 2800 “Where we’re going to go with it? We’ve got a whole lot of things and issues to cover first.”
(Dean Bresciani, NDSU President) 1815 “We’re looking at this as an investment, not a cost to the state.”
The university presidents hope their show of unity will convince lawmakers that this issue deserves their consideration. Jim Olson, KX News.
The UND and NDSU presidents also held a forum in Bismarck today, and will continue their tour in Williston and Watford City tomorrow, and in Dickinson on Friday.