Some North Dakota State University staffers are asking that tuition breaks for spouses and children of employees also include same-sex partners.
NDSU President Dean Bresciani has yet to decide whether to allow it.
The Forum reported Thursday that the expanded benefit would add to a short list of benefits the school can provide to lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender employees and their partners. Offering health care can't be part of it because that's banned by North Dakota state law.
"We're aware there are limits," said Thomas Stone Carlson, who pressed for the change last year as faculty senate president. "We are trying to do what we can with our own policies that we have control over."
While those involved said only a handful of partners would take advantage of the 50 percent tuition discount, just being included in the policies would send a welcoming message to current and prospective LGBT faculty and staff.
"It means we consider LGBT faculty when we're making our policies," Stone Carlson said.
Under North Dakota University System policy, every institution has the authority to determine its own tuition waiver policy, NDSU General Counsel Chris Wilson wrote in an email.
The changes to the policy "reflect the desire of the Faculty Senate, the Staff Senate and the Student Government to extend tuition waivers to same-sex partners of eligible NDSU employees so as to help recruit (and) retain the best faculty and staff," Wilson wrote.