Bemidji State University and Northwest Technical College have a relationship like no other pair of institutions in Minnesota. While there are other examples within the Minnesota State system of two-year colleges with shared-service models, nowhere else will you find this type of alignment between a four-year university and a two-year college. This unique relationship both reinforces institutional independence and fosters close partnerships.
BSU and NTC were aligned under one president by the Minnesota State system in June 2002. In 2004, the Minnesota State system’s Office of Finance merged the state appropriation for the two institutions, and BSU accepted responsibility for managing the budgets for both institutions.
The institutions retain separate missions, visions, and values and academic leadership — BSU under a provost and vice president for academic affairs and NTC under a vice president for academic affairs — and maintain separate accreditations.
However, in areas where services and processes require consistency, and where efficiencies could be maximized, functions have been combined rather than duplicated. For example, for both food service and bookstore operations, one contract serves both institutions. In addition, services such as human resources, financial aid, physical plant, payroll and travel, purchasing, and business services are aligned, providing a greater degree of service and consistency of processes. Other services are shared such as the business office; Information Technology; communications & marketing; institutional research; diversity, equity and inclusion; the American Indian Resource Center; enrollment services; and Public Safety. This collaboration allows for coordinated support and greater resources than could be provided with independent offices.