BHSU faces 23% budget gap, President Nichols calls for action

BHSU is underfunded by 23% compared to similar universities.
Published: Jun. 28, 2023 at 11:44 AM MDT
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SPEARFISH, S.D. (KEVN) - Black Hills State University, Dr. Laurie Nichols presented her budget to the Board of Regents last week. In her presentation, she pointed out the budget gap at BHSU.

Nichols says, a national study, the Delaware Cost Study, compares universities across the US. The report reveals BHSU is underfunded when compared to similar universities. Dr. Nichols emphasized this funding gap in her presentation to the BOR.

“Our budget was short 23%, as compared to our peers. When you look across the other institutions, SDSU was short 12%, USD 13%, DSU was 9%, and Northern [State University] 8%. School of Mines was pretty flat,” says Dr. Nichols.

The 23% funding gap equals about $9 million. Nichols says this funding gap is not new to BHSU, saying the university has experienced this for decades. Dr. Nichols says there is a case to be had, that students choose other institutions because they have resources BHSU can’t. Some of these resources, Dr. Nichols calls “critical programs.”

“The other example I gave to the board, I am very passionate about this one, mental health counseling. We had cut a counseling position—a mental health counseling position—so our counselor center. We have to put that position back, that is just essential today.”

Nichols suggests slowly closing the gap with an extra $3 million in the 2025 fiscal year.

Nichols announced her retirement as president at BHSU in April.