Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)
We are saddened to inform you that the OLLI@UND program in partnership with Bismarck State College will be discontinued the end of February 2018. Please know that this has not been an easy decision for UND and the Office of Extended Learning and we are sad to see the program end. Please review the below questions and answers for more information.
1. Why was the decision made to discontinue OLLI@UND?
Over the past few years, the University of North Dakota has had to cover more of OLLI’s costs with additional funding that is no longer available in UND’s reduced budget as a result of North Dakota’s slowed economy. A grant from the Bernard Osher Foundation was used to increase membership with additional marketing efforts and develop a fundraising plan; however, those efforts did not bring in sufficient membership. Even though membership has stabilized over the last year, enrollment in OLLI courses, lectures and events has declined.
2. How was OLLI@UND funded?
OLLI@UND was funded in several ways:
- Endowment and grant funding from the Bernard Osher Foundation;
- Revenue from courses, trips, lectures;
- Donations from organizations and members;
- Advertising in the catalog; and,
- Additional funds from the Office of Extended Learning (which are no longer available to assist in funding the program).
The annual budget was approximately $125,000 each year.
3. Why is the program not sustainable?
The OLLI program is not sustainable because there is not enough revenue to cover OLLI's operational costs. Beyond the grant, revenue from courses/trips/lectures, and gifts, UND and BSC have supported OLLI with over $100,000 in in-kind support (salary and fringe benefits) each year. With budget cuts, the number of staff to contribute to OLLI@UND through UND and BSC has been reduced, leaving the current staff with additional responsibilities and less time for in-kind contributions.
4. Will classes still be offered until February? What will be available?
Yes, the Fall/Winter semester will run and is full of exciting courses, lectures, tours and movies. Please plan to join us for interesting, educational opportunities from September 2017 through the end of February 2018. Here is a link to the current catalog. OLLI Catalog Fall-Winter
5. If I have already paid my membership past the end of February 2018, can I be reimbursed for the unused portion? How will that work?
Yes, if you have a current membership that extends past February 2018, you will receive a reimbursement commensurate with the length of your membership. The reimbursements will be organized through the Office of Extended Learning in March 2018.
6. Will the current OLLI staff remain in their positions until February?
Yes, Connie Hodgson will remain as the OLLI Coordinator until the end of February 2018.
7. Are there other lifelong learning opportunities in the community?
Yes, there are other lifelong learning opportunities in both Grand Forks and Bismarck areas. Bismarck State College offers Enrichment courses through its Continuing Education division. Grand Forks and East Grand Forks offer educational activities through the Grand Forks Community Education and East Grand Forks Community Education programs, in addition to, educational offerings through the Grand Forks Senior Center and the East Grand Forks Senior Center.