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Senator Suggests NDUS Chancellor Buyout - Valley News Live - KVLY/KXJB - Fargo/Grand Forks

Senator Suggests NDUS Chancellor Buyout

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Senator Tony Grindberg of Fargo is offering an amendment to buyout the contract of NDUS Chancellor Hamid Shirvani after what he calls a year of questionable leadership and mistrust among university leaders.

He will offer the amendment to Senate Bill 2003, the higher education funding bill, which is in the Appropriations Committee. Funding would come from the state's general fund to cover the expense he believes to be about $600,000.

Senator Grindberg says Shirvani's performance in North Dakota reflects a pattern of erratic leadership that has carried over from his tenure in California.

He says Shirvani's trial and error leadership style has reduced the efficiency of the university system and is leading to irreparable damages.

But that is all Grindberg is saying.

In a written statement, Grindberg said in part, "North Dakotans and our students deserve better. We must ensure that our higher education institutions are the best in the country and that starts with respected leadership."

For his part, Chancellor Hamid Shirvani issued a statement saying he is surprised and disappointed by the move. 

He says he is not aware of any tension between him, school presidents or lawmakers. He has been on the job less than a year.

Shirvani says, "Unfortunately, it appears that some people want to cling to a broken model, which has been problematic for so many years. I am hopefully that we will be able to get quickly past this and get on to what is really important."

The presidents of the two largest universities in North Dakota, NDSU and UND, are not commenting on the issue. 

House Majority Leader Al Carlson says he's not surprised that there's a move at the Capitol to buyout the contract of Chancellor Shirvani.

UND President Robert Kelley questioned a plan from the Higher Ed. Board to provide office space for him at a new building on the campus.

Shirvani's future could come to a head on Thursday during a hearing on the college and university system budget.

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