A month hardly goes by without some scandal at a North Dakota institution of higher learning appearing on the front pages of the state’s newspapers. And, after the roughing-up in the last session of the Legislature, higher education can’t afford any more scandals.
Misdeeds only feed the acquisitive appetite of legislators who would like to get control of higher education. To protect the integrity of the university system, the board needs to launch some initiatives to head off radical surgery.
While some suggestions for corrective action reflect overreaction, neither changing the structure of the board nor smothering institutions with excessive oversight is the answer.
As for the structure, management of institutions of higher learning by boards of seven to nine members has been the model for almost all universities and colleges. It is a proven management design.