Rep. Rick Becker acknowledged that the idea is a "hard pill to swallow," but says it needs to be discussed.

BISMARCK, N.D. (AP) — A Bismarck lawmaker says North Dakota has too many colleges.

Republican Rep. Rick Becker told the state Board of Higher Education Tuesday that it's time to look into "repurposing some of the campuses."

He says the only reason the state has 11 colleges is because of "parochialist economic development." He says the state determined the number of institutions at a time when there were "little white school houses every couple of miles."

Becker acknowledged that the idea is a "hard pill to swallow," but says it needs to be discussed. His remarks drew no comments from the board.

North Dakota has four-year public colleges in Fargo, Grand Forks, Mayville, Valley City, Minot and Dickinson, and two-year schools in Williston, Wahpeton, Bismarck, Devils Lake and Bottineau.