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[Constitution, Article IX, Section 3; NDCC Chapters 15-01 and 15-02]

Created by the North Dakota State Constitution in 1889, the Board of University and School Lands consists of the Governor, Secretary of State, State Treasurer, Attorney General, and the Superintendent of Public Instruction. The Governor serves as chair and the Secretary of State as vice chair. The Commissioner, who is apppinted by the board, serves as the agency director and secretary.

The primary function of the Land Department is to generate income for distribution to local school districts and other institutions in North Dakota. This income is generated through prudent management of trust assets, consisting of over 714,000 surface acres, 2.5 million mineral acresand more than $800 million in permanent trust cash and investment assets. The surface acres are leased to ranchers and farmers across the state. The 2.5 million mineral acres are offered for oil, gas, coal, gravel, and scoria leasing. Revenues from all sources are deposited in trust funds and are invested in a diversified investment portfolio consisting of a Farm Loan Pool administered by the Bank of North Dakota, U.S. Treasury notes and bonds, Real Estate Investment Trusts, (REIT), and corporate bonds and stocks. The income from these investments, together with the surface and mineral rentals, is distributed to schools (public grades K-12) and educational and other public institutions at specific intervals throughout the biennium. The agency includes five divisions, which include:

The Energy Development Impact Office (EDIO): Came into existence in 1975 when the Legislature authorized the Coal Development Impact Program under NDCC 57-62. On July 1, 1989, the EDIO was combined with the State Land Department and is currently under the direction of the Board of University and School Lands. The coal program began in 1975 and expired in 1989. The Oil Impact Grant program began in 1981 and is still in existence. The program is funded from one-third of the first one-fifth of the Oil and Gas Production Tax.

The Investment Division: Directs, implements, coordinates and monitors all aspects of the Land Department's investment program. The investment assets managed by the division include marketable securities, farm loan pool and school construction loan program.

The Unclaimed Property Division: Administers and enforces the Uniform Unclaimed Property Act (NDCC 47-3-.1). The purpose of the Act is: to collect and safeguard property remitted by holders; to make efforts to locate owners; and to support the Common Schools Trust Fund with interest earned on the remaining unclaimed funds.

Mineral Management Division: Manages mineral interests held in trust for the benefit of various schools and institutions of North Dakota. The division also administers mineral interests formerly owned by the Bank of North Dakota plus the minerals under navigable rivers and lakes.

Surface Management Division: Manages surface acres held in trust for various schools and institutions. The major source of income from these lands is grazing and agriculture leases, with additional revenue being generated from rights-of-way and gravel and scoria mining. The objective of surface managment is to obtain "fair market" return from lands while improving their condition and value.


30329 Board of University and School Lands. Oil and Gas Lease Files.       
30331 Board of University and School Lands. Records of Income from Oil & Gas Leases
30332 Board of University and School Lands. Lease Applications
30333 Board of University and School Lands. Farm Loan Case Files.          
30334 Board of University and School Lands. School Land Leases.             
30538 Board of University and School Lands, Farm Photographs
30539 Board of University and School Lands, Daily Collection Record       
30540 Board of University and School Lands, Cashier's Register.
30541 Board of University and School Lands, Farm Loan Investment Record
30542 Board of University & School Lands, Bond Investment Record
30543 Board of University and School Lands, Land Grant Contract Control Sheets              
30433 Board of University and School Lands, Summary of Leasing Collections
30545 Board of University and School Lands. Original Land Grant Investment Record       
30860 Board of University and School Lands. Contract and Loan Report
31798 Land Sales. Land Data File               
31805 Land Sales. Satisfaction of Mortgage Records.       
31806 Land Sales. Records of the Mortgage Records -- Vol 1 - 2
31807 Land Sales. Assignment of Contract Books. -- Vol A,B,C     
31808 Land Sales. Judicial Wing Construction Project Files             
31809 Land Sales. Reference Maps  
31820 Board of University and School Lands. Investigation of School Lands           
31891 State Energy Development. Files
31941 Oil and coal land leasing maps       
32013 Maps. 1949-1985. and [n.d.] 49 maps
32058 Minerals Division. NDIC Oil & Gas Advisement Committee              
32059 Oil/Land Leases Card Index            
32114 Photographs 
32100 Surface Management. Tract Inspection Records       
32122 Record of School Lands Sold          
32152 Administration. Correspondence.  
32233 Minerals Management, Mineral Resource Files       
32248 Surface Management. Surface Land Files


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