North Dakota Commission of Higher Education Amendment, Measure 3 (2014)
The North Dakota Commission of Higher Education Amendment, Measure 3 is on the November 4, 2014 ballot in the state of North Dakota as a legislatively-referred constitutional amendment. The measure, upon voter approval, would eliminate the part-time eight-member board of higher education and chancellor's office and, in lieu, create an appointed full-time three-member commission of higher education to oversee and administer all public higher education in the state.
Text of measure
|1. A three-member commission of higher education is created for the purpose of overseeing and administering the provision of public higher education at sites that include Bismarck, Bottineau, Devils Lake, Dickinson, Fargo, Grand Forks, Mayville, Minot, Valley City, Wahpeton, and Williston.|
2. The governor shall appoint each member of the commission from a list of at least three nominees agreed to by a majority of the following:
3. The governor shall ensure that one member of the commission has leadership experience in a private sector business, industry, or service, and that one member, at the time of appointment, holds a professional position within the higher education sector. Each member of the commission must be confirmed by the senate.
7. The legislative assembly may provide for the appointment of an advisory board that includes a faculty and a student representative.
- Sen. Mac Schneider (D-42) expressed concerns that the measure might limit academic freedom. Part of the amendment reads, “[the board] shall have full authority over the institutions under its control with the right, among its other powers, to prescribe, limit, or modify the courses offered at the several institutions.”
- Sen. Connie Triplett (D-18) argued that the amendment may disempower university presidents. She said, “I think (board members) perceive, rightly, that their job is to set general broad policies for the institution. My concern is that if you got three full-time people… that they’re going to effectively run the institutions and there won’t be any space left for institutional presidents.”
Media editorial positions
- Grand Forks Herald said, "But if the amendment passes in November, the links in the anchor chains would be changed into paper clips. For the new language simply lists 11 communities and says they’ll be home to higher ed “sites.” So, what exactly is a “site”? Well, it could be a traditional campus, as can be found in each of those 11 communities today. But could it instead be a stand-alone warehouse owned by the university system? Or a storefront? Or Room 4B in an office complex — with no college campus at all?... This year’s debate mostly will be about replacing the higher-education board. But that isn’t all it should be about, and North Dakota voters should know that there’s more to the higher-ed amendment than meets the eye."
Path to the ballot
- See also: Amending the North Dakota Constitution
According to Section 16 of Article IV of the North Dakota Constitution, the legislature had to approve the bill by a simple majority in order to place the measure on the ballot. HCR 3047 was passed by the North Dakota Senate on April 22, 2013. The bill was passed by the North Dakota House on April 23, 2013.
April 22, 2013 Senate vote
|North Dakota HCR 3047 Senate Vote|
April 23, 2013 House vote
|North Dakota HCR 3047 House Vote|
- North Dakota Legislature, "House Concurrent Resolution No. 3047," accessed January 22, 2014
- Note: This text is quoted verbatim from the original source. Any inconsistencies are attributed to the original source.
- Prairie Business, "ND legislators discuss higher ed board constitutional amendment," December 16, 2013
- Grand Forks Herald, "Our Opinion: Amendment weakens colleges’ constitutional protection," April 9, 2014
- North Dakota Legislature, "Bill Actions for HCR 3047," accessed January 22, 2014
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