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ND Higher Ed Chancellor to Leave Immediately - Valley News Live - KVLY/KXJB - Fargo/Grand Forks

ND Higher Ed Chancellor to Leave Immediately

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Embattled North Dakota University System Chancellor Hamid Shirvani has been placed on administrative leave, effective immediately.

The Board of Higher Education voted last month to buy out Shirvani's contract, after months of pressure from critics who questioned his leadership style. He was to stay until July 15. The board decided Thursday to speed up his departure.

The board hired Bismarck State College President Larry Skogen to serve as acting interim chancellor until the position is filled. Skogen will remain president at Bismarck State while taking on the additional duties. He says he has an excellent staff that will help with campus operations.

Skogen says, "There's a lot of healing that has to occur and it has to occur now," after months of turmoil including board violations of open meeting laws.

His appointment will be in effect for at least 60 days, or until the interim chancellor position is filled.      

"Dr. Skogen has been doing an excellent job at BSC and is an outstanding public servant," said Duaine Espegard, president of the Board. "He indicated that he was willing to help while we were looking for the interim chancellor, and it seemed like a perfect solution. The operational needs are great and the work of the university system must continue in order to provide good service to our institutions and our students." 

"I appreciate the confidence that the Board has shown in me, and the recognition that we have a fabulous team at BSC that will effectively carry on as I step into this role," says Skogen. "We are members of a wonderful system with a strong set of presidents. This is a time for healing, and I believe we can pull the team together to get things moving in the right direction."

Dr. Skogen, a native of Hettinger, ND, has been president of BSC since 2006.

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