Bismarck Tribune: NDSU President Dean Bresciani Should Resign


I have been calling for NDSU President Dean Bresciani to go for years, but in recent weeks the list of people and organizations doing the same has grown.

Former state lawmaker and retired newspaper publisher John Andrist suggested that Bresicani move on in a post here on SAB not so long ago.

Former Grand Forks Herald publisher Mike Jacobs made a similar argument earlier this week.

In a startling development the Fargo Forum, which has long been a Bresciani booster, called for his resignation, calling him an “embarrassment.”

Now the Bismarck Tribune says in an editorial the time has come for Bresciani to move on:

What’s disturbing about the media restrictions controversy was Bresciani’s apparent willingness to mislead the public and to place the blame on Athletic Director Matt Larsen. Bresciani initially said he was unaware of Larsen’s plan for media restrictions, but after a public records request revealed texts between Bresciani and Larsen discussing the restrictions, he said he thought the restrictions were common at universities.

The lack of transparency and the effort to place the fault on Larsen shows a lack of leadership. Bresciani’s future already was in limbo after the Board of Higher Education declined to extend his contract earlier his year. The board gave Bresciani until November to meet certain goals, including improved communications and to reverse indications that NDSU’s standing as a research university is slipping.

Bresciani has spent a lot of time courting donors, alumni and business people in Fargo. He has support in the community but not necessarily for the right reasons. What’s good for business and higher education don’t always go hand in hand. As the Tribune editorial board noted earlier, he needed to show he’s good for the state. He’s failed that test.

Truth be told, Bresciani has been failing that test for a long time now.

The one thing Bresciani has done very well at NDSU is build a coalition of support for himself among the football fans and the alumni and the Fargo business community. But, as the Tribune points out, the reasons for this support are all based on the wrong priorities.

Those who support Bresciani seem to have little interest in NDSU’s academic performance, or its performance on what should be any public school’s top priority, which is serving the students of the state of North Dakota.

At some point, as the list calling for the man’s resignation grows, they may have to admit that the guy is just doing a bad job.

By the way, for what it’s worth, Bresciani told my colleague Mike McFeely that he has “no plans to resign.”