- Associated Press - Saturday, May 7, 2016

BISMARCK, N.D. (AP) - The president of Bismarck State College says further cuts are likely as state budgets continue to be affected by a drop in oil drilling and depressed crude prices.

Gov. Jack Dalrymple in February mandated that all state agencies cut budgets by 4.05 percent. On Wednesday, the governor directed agencies to plan for 10 percent reductions in their budgets over the next two years in an effort to deal with a slowing economy.

Bismarck State College President Larry Skogen said school leaders will have to comb through the budget and continue to find additional savings in the areas cut earlier this year.

“We’re just going to have to do more of the same. It’s always a heck of a lot easier to have money, but we have what we have,” Skogen told the Bismarck Tribune (https://bit.ly/1QUW7TJ ).

The school’s total budget cut was $1.56 million. Skogen said the college has so far been able to address a portion of cuts through several retirements and consolidation of senior staff positions. He has also taken on the dual role of president and provost for the short term. Bismarck State College will begin a search this fall to fill the provost position for a July 1, 2017, start date.

North Dakota University System Chancellor Mark Hagerott said each campus is given a lot of latitude to decide on how to make the cuts and that the state’s two major research universities were encouraged to protect research.

Skogen said Bismarck State College officials are trying to minimize the impact on students.

“We’re doing everything we can to get the numbers we need to have,” he said. “We’ve had tremendous expansion over the past number of years. After you’ve gone through a period of expansion, going through a time of contraction is going to be tough.”

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Information from: Bismarck Tribune, https://www.bismarcktribune.com

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