If North Dakota’s university presidents were on a mission to prove how thin-skinned and petulant they are, how unwilling they are to be governed by anyone, the hissy fit they’ve thrown after criticism by Chancellor Hamid Shirvani in their evaluations has accomplished that mission.
Now Shirvani’s parting shot has cost him what remained of his tenure as chancellor. Today the State Board of Higher Education has placed Shirvani, was was to still be on the job until the middle of next month, on administrative leave and appointed Bismarck State College President Larry Skogen as interim chancellor.
BOTTINEAU – Embattled North Dakota University System Chancellor Hamid Shirvani has been placed on administrative leave, effective today.
The State Board of Higher Education, meeting in Bottineau, approved the hiring of Bismarck State College President Larry Skogen as acting interim chancellor. Skogen will remain president at Bismarck State while taking on the chancellor’s duties. He said he has an excellent staff, who will help with campus operations.
“There’s a lot of healing that has to occur and it has to occur now,” said Skogen, referring to months of turmoil in the university system.
One would like to think that Skogen is talking about something other than going back to the pre-Shirvani days of ignoring, and covering up, the university system’s problems. Because in a system populated by politically-powerful university presidents who tolerate no criticism, it’s clear that anyone looking to take on the problems at the universities is going to be attacked and vilified.