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Archives - State Agencies - Director of Institutions

DIRECTOR OF INSTITUTIONS
[North Dakota Century Code Chapters 54-21 and 54-23]
                                                                                                                               
Management of state institutions was the responsibility of a succession of state agencies. The Board of Trustees of Public Property was created in 1887 (T. L. 1887, Ch. 162) and consisted of the Governor, Territorial Secretary, and Territorial Auditor. The Board of Trustees of Public Property had responsibility for maintenance of the State Capitol and capitol grounds, the state trolley line, the Governor's Mansion, and provided all furniture, fuels, lights, stationery, postage, and other supplies for state offices. The Board of Trustees of Public Property was discontinued in 1911.
                                                                               
Legislation in 1911 (S. L. 1911, Ch. 62) established the Board of Control to manage charitable, reformatory, and penal institutions of the state. The Board of Control consisted of three members appointed by the Governor for two-year terms. Until 1911 most state institutions had independent boards of trustees governing their affairs. These boards of trustees were abolished by the 1911 law and the Board of Control assumed responsibility for administering state institutions. State institutions under supervision of the Board of Control included the State Hospital for the Insane (Jamestown), the State Penitentiary, North Dakota Blind Asylum, School for the Deaf and Dumb, School for the Feeble-Minded (Grafton), and the State Reform School (Mandan). The (Dunseith-San Haven) Tuberculosis Sanatorium (S. L. 1913, Ch. 55) and the State Capitol, capitol grounds, and the Governor's Mansion (S. L. 1915, Ch. 229) were also placed under jurisdiction of the Board of Control.

The Board of Control was abolished in 1919 and replaced with the newly created Board of Administration (S. L. 1919, Ch. 71). An important element of the Nonpartisan League program the law creating the Board of Administration was referred and approved by voters on June 26, 1919. The Board of Administration consisted originally of five members including the Superintendent of Public Instruction, the Commissioner of Agriculture and Labor, and three other members appointed by the Governor for six-year terms. The Board was granted a wide range of powers and responsibilities in state government. In addition to assuming the duties of the Board of Control, the Board of Administration also gained control over state colleges (including North Dakota Agricultural College) and the University of North Dakota, superseding the State Board of Regents and the State Board of Education.  

In 1923 the Board of Administration was given responsibility for child welfare cases and provided funds to six private child placement agencies including North Dakota Children's Home Society, Lutheran Welfare Society, St. John's Orphanage, Crippled Children's Home, House of Mercy, and Crittenton Home (S. L. 1923, Ch. 150). The Board of Administration assumed the powers of the State Library Commission (S. L. 1927, Ch. 261). It lost control in 1939 of North Dakota's state colleges and the University of North Dakota with creation of the State Board of Higher Education (S. L. 1939, Ch.120). However the Board gained control of the State Farm (S. L. 1941, Ch. 229) and in 1951 was assigned responsibility for the State Radio Communications System (S. L. 1951, Ch. 309). In 1961 child welfare duties under the management of the Board of Administration were repealed (S. L. 1961, Ch. 337). Additionally the Board lost control of the State Hospital when responsibility for administration was transferred to the Mental Health and Retardation Division of the State Department of Health (S. L. 1965, Ch. 203).

In 1969 as authorized by the State Legislature the office of the Director of Institutions replaced the Board of Administration as the manager of state institutions (S. L. 1969, Ch. 440). Appointed by the Governor and subject to Senate confirmation the Director of Institutions served a four-year term.  The individual selected had to demonstrate business or administrative ability and interest in and knowledge of problems facing public institutions. The Director of Institutions served as the management agency for each of the institutions and agencies under its jurisdiction, provided legal and management assistance as needed, reported to the Governor on the operations of these institutions and agencies, and submitted legislative recommendations for the benefit of state agencies and institutions. It assisted in the preparation of their biennial budget document, monitored their capital planning and construction, and kept an annual inventory of their permanent assets. The Director of Institutions had supervisory authority for eleven state institutions and agencies, including Grafton State School (Feeble-Minded), State Radio Communications System, San Haven State Hospital (Tuberculosis), the School for the Blind, School for the Deaf, State Capitol and grounds, State Telecommunications System, State Farm, State Industrial School (Reform School), State Library, and the State Penitentiary (S. L. 1969, Ch. 440). Additionally, the office of the Director of Institutions maintained state-owned buildings and adjacent grounds located in the Capitol complex, did the billing and collected payment for the lease on the Capitol lunchroom. It was also responsible for providing janitorial services for buildings such as the Highway Department building and renting space within the Capitol complex to agencies funded by sources other than state general funds. It monitored and provided a budget for the payment of hospital and related outpatient medical fees for residents or inmates living in the institutions  and it supervised and operated a central mailing facility for the agencies located in the Capitol complex.  

In 1971 the Director of Institutions served as a member of the Administrative Committee on Veterans' Affairs (S. L.1971, Ch. 344). Also in 1971 legislation authorized the Director of Institutions complete control for the management of the San Haven State Hospital (S. L. 1971, Ch. 271) and other institutions and agencies such as the North Dakota School for the Blind, the School for the Deaf, State Penitentiary and the Rough Rider Industries, State Farm, State Industrial School, Capitol and its grounds, State Library, and State Radio Broadcasting System. Grafton State School moved to the control of the Department of Human Services July 1, 1989.

Additionally in 1989 the Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation (DOCR) was created to oversee the programs of the Division of Adult Services, State Correction Centers, Parole Board, Community Services, and Victims Reparation Act. Appointed by Governor the Director of the newly created Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation was given responsibility for managing programs previously under the supervision of the Director of Institutions (S. L. 1989, Ch.156).
               
In 1991 all functions of the Director of Institutions including supervisory control, powers, duties, submission of records and reports, and authorization to acquire property were transferred to the appropriate state agency, department, or institution. Specifically mentioned in the legislation were the Department of Public Instruction, Health and Consolidated Laboratories, Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation, Department of Human Services (Executive Director), and the Adjutant General.  Legislation required that the director of the Office of Management and Budget to replace the Director of Institutions. The Century Code addressed the changes and repeals of the legislation (S.L. 1991, Ch. 592).
               
CHRONOLOGY

1887       The Board of Trustees of Public Property consisted of the Governor, Secretary, and Auditor of the Territory who had charge of the Capitol, the park, and connected public grounds (S. L. 1887, Ch. 162).

1911       The Legislature created a State Board of Control for state institutions to provide for the management of the charitable, reformatory, and penal institutions of the state.  Appointments were made by the Governor with a necessary two-thirds vote of approval from the Senate. Two elected members were to be of the majority of the party in the legislature and one member from the party with the next highest number.  Terms were two years. Institutions under the control of the Board included the State Hospital for the Insane, the State Penitentiary, the North Dakota Blind Asylum, the School for the Deaf and Dumb, the School for the Feeble-Minded, the State Reform School, and any other institutions that may be established. The Board of Control replaced the Boards of Trustees. Each institution no longer had its own board of trustees (S. L. 1911, Ch. 62).

1913       The Board of Control managed the (San Haven) Tuberculosis Sanatorium (S. L. 1913, Ch. 55).

1915       Board of Control duties was expanded to include the responsibility of the Governor’s Mansion, and the State Capitol and the park and public grounds (S. L. 1915, Ch. 229).
               
1919       The Board of Administration was created to supervise and administrate all of the state penal, charitable, and educational institutions as well as the management of the public and common schools in the state thus making the presidents or heads of several state institutions and the Superintendent of Public Instruction responsible to the Board. The Board consisted of five members including the Superintendent of Public Instruction and the Commissioner of Agriculture and Labor who were ex-officio members. The Governor appointed the three remaining Board members. The terms of office were six years and one member was elected chairman. Additionally the Board was responsible for the administration of the State Board of Education, the State Board of Regents, and the State Board of Control of State Institutions. An Educational Commission for standardization of public schools and the certification of teachers required the State Superintendent of Public Instruction to be subject to the control of the Board (S. L.1919, Ch. 71).

1923       Legislation expanded to include duties regarding the welfare of children. This meant investigating adoption petitions as well as cooperating with juvenile courts in the investigation of delinquency (S. L. 1923, Ch. 150).

1927       The State Legislature gave the Board of Administration powers and duties of the State Library Commission.  The Board made the appointment of a secretary and Director of the Library Commission (S.L. 1927, Ch. 261).

1931       Membership changed with the removal of the Commissioner of Agriculture and Labor and the Superintendent of Public Instruction (S. L. 1931, Ch. 265).

1941       A central telephone exchange and central mailing bureau were established in the State Capitol building (S. L. 1941, Ch. 212-214) and legislation gave the Board of Administration the authority over the State Work Farm (S. L. 1941, Ch. 229).

1951       Legislation authorized the Board of Administration to establish a state radio system (S. L. 1951, Ch. 309).

1957       Duties of the Board Administration included the management of the State Hospital at Jamestown, the State Industrial School (Reform School), the State Sanatorium, Blind Asylum, and the School for the Deaf. The name for the Tuberculosis Sanatorium at Dunseith was renamed the San Haven State School for the Feeble-Minded. There were no changes to the management of the Grafton School (S. L. 1957, Ch. 197).

1959       Legislation reorganized certain departments and agencies of state government, abolished and consolidated other departments, reorganized fiscal, administrative, and purchasing procedures.  Legislation repealed the regulations of the Board of Administration for private institutions receiving state appropriations (S. L. 1959, Ch. 372), transferred duties from the State Auditor to a Department of Accounts and Purchases and vested the State Auditor with the responsibility of conducting a true post audit. It also transferred the authority of specific purchases for the various state departments and agencies to the Department of Accounts and Purchases. Certain tax collecting functions were moved from the office of the State Treasurer to the State Tax Commissioner. Sections of the Century Code were amended or repealed to reflect these changes (S. L. 1959, Ch. 372).

1961       The child welfare duties of the Board of Administration were repealed (S. L. 1961, Ch. 337).

1965       The control of the State Hospital at Jamestown was transferred from the Board of Administration to the Mental Health and Retardation Division of the State Department of Health (S. L. 1965, Ch.  203).

1967       A ten member Advisory Committee on Communications was created for the purpose of advising and assisting the Board of Administration with the coordination, direction, control, development, and implantation of a modern system of communication (S. L. 1967, Ch. 388).
               
1969       The Board of Administration, members, appointments, term of office and definitions related to the Board were repealed by legislation. The office of the Director of Institutions was created and the Director was appointed by the Governor with the approval of the Senate. Powers and duties held by the Board of Administration were given to the Director of Institutions. Qualifications for the Director of Institutions included the ability to demonstrate skills in the field of business or administration showing an interest in and knowledge of problems of public institutions. The Director selected the warden and managed the administrative duties of State Penitentiary. Additionally the Director was given control of the state office building, the former Governor’s Mansion and the present Governor’s Residence, and the State Capitol and the connected public grounds and park (S. L. 1969, Ch. 440).

1971       Legislation authorized the Director of Institutions complete control for the management of the following institutions: the State Penitentiary, School for the Blind, School for the Deaf, the Grafton State School, the State Industrial School, and the San Haven State Hospital (S. L. 1971, Ch. 271).

1975       Legislation transferred control of the former Governor’s Mansion to the State Historical Society of North Dakota (S. L. 1975, Ch. 494).

1983       The responsibility of the Director of Institutions to appoint the construction superintendent was repealed (S. L. 1983, Ch. 511).

1989       The director of the newly created Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation (DOCR) was appointed by Governor. The DOCR director, the warden, and DOCR staff had responsibility for duties previously carried out by the Director of Institutions.  Also repealed was responsibility of serving as executive officer for child welfare (S. L. 1989, Ch. 156).

1991       Functions of the Director of Institutions including supervisory control, powers, duties, submission of records and reports, and authorization to acquire property were transferred to the appropriate state agency, department, or institution. The Century Code replaced language relating to the Director of Institutions and gave responsibility of the “director” to the Office of Management and Budget director. Sections of the Century Code were changed or repealed (S. L. 1991, Ch. 592).

SERIES

Administration

30856    Board of Control Minutes, 1913-1919.
30749    Minutes of the Board of Administration, 1919-1969.
31027    Summations of Board of Administration, 1919-1969.
30260    Institutional Relations Files, 1951-1975.
30261    Subject Files, 1953-1973.
30263    Collections for Institutional Care Files, 1939-1971.
30264    Probate Files, 1966-1973.
30265    Release of Claims Files, 1966-1972.
30266    Building Construction Files, 1921-1934, 1965-1969.
30267    Audit Reports, 1946-1969.
30269    Property Inventories, 1910, 1912, 1920, 1929-1972.
30268    Student Loan Ledger, 1937-1941.
30750    Abstract and Titles Files, 1883-1959.
30751    Maintenance Files, 1936-1963.
30752    Attorney General Opinions, 1923-1928.
30754    North Dakota Heritage Center Design Files, 1975-1976.
30755    Budget Files, 1941-1967.
30756    Investigative Files, 1936-1977.
30757    Governor’s Mansion File, 1951.
30758    Photographs, 1930-1959.
30769    Capitol Trolley Line Collections Register, 1929-1931.
30635    House of Representatives Roll-Call System File, 1948.
31097    Drawings of the State Capitol, 1957.
30285    Legislative Files, 1973-1975.

Board of Capitol Commissioners

30270   Minutes, 1931-1935.
30271    General Correspondence, 1931-1934.
30272    President’s Outgoing Letters, May 1933-August 1934.
30273    Auditor’s Files, 1932-1934.
30274    Building Superintendent’s Files, 1934-1940.
30275    Daily Procedure Memoranda, April 1933-August 1934.
30276    Subcontractors Files, ca. 1931.
30277    Architects Correspondence, 1931-1934.
30278    Architect Selection Files, 1931.
30279    Vouchers, 1932-1934.
30280    Lundoff-Bicknell Files, 1932-1934.
30281    Transcript of Testimony, 1933.
30282    Contracts, 1931-1934.
30283    Appraisal, 1930-1935.
30284    Financial Reports, 1933-1934.
30286    Account Ledger, 1931-1934.
30287    Daily Progress Reports. August 1932 – April 1934.
30288    Expenditures Journal, 1931-1935.
30289    Contract and Voucher Payment Ledger, 1932-1934.
30291    Payee Ledger, 1931-1936.

State Purchasing Agent

30294    Outgoing Letters, 1931-1932.
30295   Audit Reports, 1950-1961.

SOURCES

Gray, David P. Guide to North Dakota State Archives, 1983.
Laws of Dakota Territory.
Legislative History of North Dakota State Agencies: Richard J. Wolfert State Librarian. State Library Commission, 1978.
North Dakota Century Code .
North Dakota Secretary of State Blue Book.
North Dakota State Legislature Session Laws.

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