MSU President's Column for Traill County Tribune

May 11, 2019 

Work of the legislature integral to Mayville State’s success

It’s been a great year at Mayville State University! We’ve enjoyed so many successes, including being awarded a $2.25 million Department of Education grant, which was the impetus behind our new advising center. We know the grant will be life-changing for our institution, and we are grateful. 

We celebrated the installation of an artificial turf field at Jerome Berg Field, where not only our football team, but also our softball team, have played this year. Installation of this new artificial turf field was made possible through private funding from many supportive alumni and friends. Our athletic teams have been successful, and we experienced the thrill of our women’s basketball team winning the conference title and our men’s basketball team winning the conference tournament and earning a bid to play in the national tournament.

We’ve watched our students perform in music and in the theater. Our Collegiate DECA students had outstanding results at the state and international conferences, with so many finishing in the top 10.

We’ve set enrollment records in both the fall and spring semesters, and we’re getting lots of good press and recognition from outside entities. There is much to celebrate!

I had my first opportunity to be involved with the work of the North Dakota legislature during their 66th Assembly regular session during the last several months. Being new to the state, it was a learning process. I very much enjoyed the opportunity to get to know several of the state’s legislators and to watch the legislative process in action. The North Dakota legislature concluded its work for this session the evening of April 28, and the governor has now signed all legislation. Throughout the session, several of the bills and resolutions considered were of particular to us at Mayville State University.

House Concurrent Resolution No. 3016 (HCR 3016) was defeated. The intent of this measure was to remove references to the names, locations, and missions of the institutions of higher education from the North Dakota Constitution. Mayville State’s name would have been removed, which would not benefit our institution, nor others, in my mind.

Mayville State’s needs-based budget request was approved. This means that Mayville State will receive the same base appropriation in the next biennium as it has received in the current biennium. The current funding formula was continued for higher education.

The employee compensation package that was approved includes a possible 2% salary increase for the upcoming year, with a minimum pay increase of $120/month and a maximum of $200/month. In the next fiscal year, average pay increases for employees will be 2.5%. In addition, health insurance was fully funded for the next biennium. This is especially valued, since our employees have not received raises for four years due to budget constraints.

A tuition cap increase is held to no greater than 4% per year with exemptions for graduate programs and non-resident rates.

Mayville State’s allocation of funds from the Challenge Grant will increase from $200,000 to $700,000 for the biennium. The Challenge Grant provides matching funds for gifts made to scholarships and other projects via the MSU Foundation. We are super-excited to know that many of the gifts made to Mayville State through the MSU Foundation will have an even greater benefit to the university and our students. Past Challenge Grant funding has had a tremendously positive impact and we know this will continue.

The leadership of our state legislators during the biennial budgeting process is very much appreciated. I am especially grateful to our District 20 legislators, Rep. Rick Holman, Rep. Aaron McWilliams, Sen. Arne Osland, and Sen. Randy Lemm. These folks have worked so very hard to represent Mayville State well. I know the members of the Mayville State campus community join me in thanking these gentlemen. Your efforts are truly appreciated!