College and program cuts are coming to NDSU

President Cook announced plans to reduce NDSU colleges

On Tuesday, President of North Dakota State University David Cook announced plans for a change in structure at NDSU which would eliminate up to 3 of the academic colleges. Specifics are not known, but it is likely that programs will be cut as well. This is due to the budget cuts from low enrollment rate at NDSU. 

Cook explained in a press conference that changes will be made, forcing programs to be cut at NDSU. Many changes have already come including change in deanships and the provost. “In October, we made some changes and I put an interim provost in place, David Bertolini and asked him to really start to lead an effort to transform the institution across the Academic Affairs enterprise,” said Cook. 

In an email, Cook stated that this plan would lead to many changes, disrupting the current system. “This will be disruptive, but its outcome will strengthen NDSU with increased student success and better research and creative activities,” Cook said. Cook further explained that when transformations begin, there will be tough decisions that the university will have to make. 

“Right now it’s disruptive in the sense that we are bringing up a lot of new ideas, new structure, new academic units,” said Cook. 

Cook explained that programs will likely be cut at NDSU, looking at the budget and enrollment in each program. “We’re going to have to take a look at programs that are out there that may be low enrollment, high cost, and see if it may still make a lot of sense,” said Cook. 

He also explained that he will hope to line up the programs with the ones that are the most needed in the state. “We’ve got to line those up against what the workforce needs of the state are,” said Cook. There is also discussion about how to better partner with community colleges.  They are “trying to figure out what works there for us, how can we be a better partner locally, in Cass County, but also across the state,” said Cook. 

Cook did not say which programs will be considered to be cut, as that process will come in the future. However, no programs are promised to stay, saying “everything is on the table,” including athletic program cuts. 

This will not affect the current students at NDSU, as all of the currently enrolled students will be able to finish out their requested programs. “Everybody who’s currently enrolled in a major is going to be perfectly fine, no rug is going to be pulled out from underneath them,” said Cook. 

Cook explained that this was going to have to happen at some point and they are moving into a pivotal time at NDSU. Since NDSU is facing budget cuts, changes are needing to be made across campus. 

Cook explains that many decisions will need to be made. “There’s going to be some hard things moving forward. And so what has been great about it is how everybody’s really working together and coming up with solutions and ideas moving together,” said Cook. 

They are currently receiving feedback, then decisions will start being made in January. 

“It’s hard work, but it’s also exciting, because you can start to see how you’re transforming an institution,” said Cook, “I think it’s something that will have a generational impact, it’s kind of a once in a generation opportunity.”

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