• Chamber supports multi-board Higher Education Governance Structure in ND

  • Fargo, N.D. (February 6, 2019) – On Thursday, January 31 2019, the FMWF Chamber Board of Directors voted to support a multi-board governance structure in North Dakota. The board recognizes the need for a multi-board structure to further allow institutions the flexibility to respond to the changing workforce needs of the region as well as strengthen governing boards’ membership.

    “It is crucial that our institutions of higher education in North Dakota recruit and retain the best individuals in order to educate them and meet the needs of our growing workforce,” Chamber Board Chair Mark Nisbet said. President and CEO of The Chamber, Craig Whitney, added, “Affording our local institutions that educate not only our area, but the state’s workforce, more flexibility and nimbleness through a multi-board model would greatly help in this mission.”

    A multi-board structure would bring flexibility to North Dakota State University and North Dakota State College of Science, both which fuel our region and state’s workforce. Such a structure would help our region better meet workforce demands. Currently, decisions are made by one statewide board (State Board of Higher Education), where board members govern all 11 institutions. Allowing our local universities more control and flexibility to grow and accomplish their mission would better serve our state and our area. We believe a multi-board model with also strengthen all institutions through further diversification of them due to healthy competition.

    In addition, the board acknowledges the importance of a more locally controlled board as it would provide for heightened accountability of board members by allowing community members to be more connected to those governing the institutions. A multi-board model would also narrow and focus the scope of board members, which would interest many local business professionals to serve, widening the applicant pool. This would give more of an opportunity to recruit local business leaders who have outstanding experience managing and budgeting as well as directly feel the impact of higher education has on our local workforce.

    The FMWF Chamber of Commerce supports the restructure of the North Dakota University System governance structure to reflect a multi-board model to better meet the needs of the region through workforce and strengthened board membership.

    About The Chamber
    The Fargo Moorhead West Fargo Chamber of Commerce is a bi-state, regional federation of more than 2,100 private, public and non-profit member firms representing more than 109,000 people. The largest local chamber in North Dakota and Minnesota, The Chamber advocates for a strong metropolitan community and supports the interests of its members, which are located in Cass and Clay Counties and beyond.

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