State Board of Agricultural Research and Education


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August 2, 2016, Conference Call

The State Board of Agricultural Research and Education met for a special meeting via conference call on August 2, 2016 at 11:00 AM, originating in Morrill Hall Room 313. Board members in attendance were Mike Beltz, Chris Boerboom, Dean Bresciani, Doug Goehring, Ken Grafton, Larry Hoffmann, Brian Leier, Keith Peltier, JoAnn Rodenbiker, Dick Roland, Lyle Warner, and Dean Wehri. Members absent were Mark Birdsall, Tracy Boe, Lance Gulleson and Jerry Klein. Attendance was taken upon call check-in.

Chairman Beltz called the meeting to order at 11:00 AM. After welcoming members and guests, he requested that the Board address the additional allotment of 2.5% which was officially announced the day prior to this meeting. Being so close to the end of the biennium makes this timing difficult on agencies. Lyle Warner moved to act on the allotment, seconded by Brian Leier. Motion carried.

Chairman Beltz asked Drs. Grafton and Boerboom to report how their agencies could make the 2.5% allotment. Dr. Grafton stated that the allotment equals $1.98 million coming out of the Agricultural Experiment Station budget ($1.476 for Main Station and $501,836 for RECs). Salary savings and operational reductions would help address this. Operational expenses would include equipment purchase funds allocated out for departments being pulled back at the Main Station where possible, after pending commitments are paid out. This would net roughly $400,000 in savings. Dr. Boerboom said that the Extension Service allotment would equal roughly $750,000, and similar to the first allotment, they would continue efforts to maintain salary savings and hold vacant positions open where possible in order to meet this.

Warner moved to approve the allotment plans for the Agricultural Experiment Station and the Extension Service, seconded by Leier. Motion carried.

Chairman Beltz noted that The Ag Coalition gave overwhelming support to the budget plan recently presented to Budget Section. He also added that they approved sending a letter to the SBHE in support of NDSU President Bresciani.

The 90% Budget plan for the Agricultural Experiment Station

Dr. Grafton stated the Agricultural Experiment Station 90% budget plan means cuts of $5.8 million to the Main Station and $2 million to the Research Extension Centers. Careful and lengthy examination of all areas of the budget were undertaken.  A key goal is to minimize negative impacts on the research progress of newer faculty, thereby maintaining their program support. Separate lists for the Main Station budget cuts and Research Extension Center budget cuts were shared with Board members.

JoAnn Rodenbiker made a motion to accept the 90% budget proposal for the Agricultural Experiment Station, seconded by Keith Peltier. Discussion followed regarding proposed cuts to the pulse program.  Dick Roland moved to amend the proposal to not state they will close the position but rather freeze the position for the pulse breeding program, seconded by Dean Wehri. Dr. Grafton stated that a freeze would stay in effect for at least the remainder of this biennium. Currently the technical position is already gone, and the faculty position will be vacated this December so the program is, in effect, closed at that point. Upon roll-call vote, the amendment to the motion failed as a result of a tie.

Chairman Beltz called members to address the motion on the floor regarding acceptance of the proposed 90% AES budget plan. Motion carried with President Bresciani abstaining.

The 90% Budget plan for the Extension Service

Dr. Boerboom told members that the Extension Service 90% budget plan means cuts of $2.68 million, overall. It would primarily consist of salary and staff reductions. Leier made a motion to accept the plan, seconded by Warner. Discussion followed regarding positions and vacancies. Beltz called for a vote on the motion. Motion carried.

Meeting was adjourned by Chairman Beltz at 11:43 AM.

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