(Fargo, ND) -- NDSU is cutting faculty and staff following a projected budget shortfall.
North Dakota State University (NDSU) is sharing more finalized updates to budget cuts announced in late 2022. The university would look to combine two colleges together, reducing the total number of unique colleges from seven to five. The move would also look to reduce employee counts by approximately 27.5 positions, with 19 being current employees and 8.5 being full time employees. This is on top of two deans who are retiring following the college mergers. The move was approved unanimously by the each of the deans.
"Based on the way that enrollment funds our institution, in this next biennium [...] we have a 7.6 million dollar budget deficit we have to address, "said Dr. David Cook, President of NDSU, "The reductions and the college mergers and other pieces that we are doing will likely amount to, over the next two years, little more than $7.6. So we'll have a little bit more money to then invest."
The changes to curriculum include looking at earth, environment, and geospatial sciences, hospitality management, and agricultural systems management. The changes don't necessarily imply the removal of the programs; especially in the case of Agricultural systems management, which Dr. Cook says is likely to merge with the existing precision agriculture program. The President says impacted students will have the opportunity to complete their education.
In addition to cuts, the president says they are looking to make strategic investments to improve educational experiences. Dr. Cook says that includes improving their advising services for enrolled students, create fully online programs, and create what the university is calling the "Bison Bridge Program." The new program will be a revival of a previously cut one; that would invest in recruiting, retention, and place a higher priority learners who are first generation, Pell-eligible, and students of color.