North Dakota's Moment in the Spotlight Isn't a Pretty One

North Dakota's Moment in the Spotlight Isn't a Pretty One 1

Dale Wetzel, AP Images

Rep. Al Carlson, House majority leader in the North Dakota legislature, is seeking greater legislative oversight of the state's universities.

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close North Dakota's Moment in the Spotlight Isn't a Pretty One 1

Dale Wetzel, AP Images

Rep. Al Carlson, House majority leader in the North Dakota legislature, is seeking greater legislative oversight of the state's universities.

Since the beginning of the economic downturn, public colleges in North Dakota have been in what would seem to be an enviable position, thanks to robust tax revenues generated by the state's supply of oil, coal, and corn used in making ethanol. Lawmakers in Bismarck, the state capital, hiked spending on higher education by a whopping 60 percent between the 2007 fiscal year and 2012—the largest increase in the country—while spending by states nationally declined nearly 4 percent,