This is Up and Down, where we give a brief thumbs up or thumbs down on the issues from the past week.
The Bismarck State College presidential search committee is wisely using in-house expertise rather than hiring an expensive outside consultant. The committee is working with BSC’s chief human resources officer and a campus human resources manager, both of whom have experience with previous presidential searches, including the most recent BSC president search that resulted in the hiring of Larry Skogen. Tapping into local experience will save the college tens of thousands of dollars. Plus, locals with experience are more in tune with the campus and community than an external consultant.
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The Keystone pipeline leaked an estimated 383,000 gallons of oil in northeastern North Dakota last week, affecting about 22,500 square feet of land near Edinburg. The spill prompted Gov. Doug Burgum to urge operator TC Energy to review its inspection and monitoring of the pipeline. The spill comes at a time when the company, formerly known as Transcanada, is still seeking approval for the controversial Keystone XL pipeline.
Gateway to Science marks its 25th anniversary this month as a hands-on learning center focused on science, technology, engineering and math. Supporters and board members also broke ground recently on a new facility that will have 5 ½ times the space and accommodate larger galleries for energy, agriculture, health care and transportation exhibits. Gateway to Science was ahead of its time, already well established when STEM education became a nationwide focus. Getting kids interested in science early is an important part of addressing our state’s workforce needs.
Record-setting wet weather is causing challenges on multiple fronts for farmers and ranchers. Weather-related conditions affect the integrity of roads, increasing the risk of truck rollovers on soft shoulders. Last week, 13 cattle died after a truck pulling a cattle trailer rolled over in Hazelton. Weather-related challenges also are increasing stress and anxiety for agriculture producers. Gov. Doug Burgum and Agriculture Commissioner Doug Goehring have emphasized the importance of mental health resources for North Dakotans dealing with flooding.