Bresciani Emails Found, University System Apparently Getting A House Cleaning


Some very interesting developments in the email scandal at North Dakota State University today that make me think back to a line that President Dean Bresciani wrote about former Chancellor Hamid Shirvani in an email obtained by Forum Communications: “start getting bids from movers.”

But let’s not get ahead of ourselves.

I’m told by multiple sources that there was a meeting between incoming State Board of Higher Education President Kirsten Diedrich (from Fargo) and multiple university system presidents including Bresciani. The result of that meeting is, according to one source, the university system is now “looking to fire several people from the NDUS offices that aren’t backing Bresciani’s story.”

After getting rid of the chancellor they didn’t like, and trashing the evaluations they didn’t like, I guess the university presidents are now apparently going to get rid of university system office staff they don’t like.

A second source gave me some names: Director of Communications and Media Relations Linda Donlin, General Counsel Claire Holloway (who was the one who divulged the fact of Bresciani’s 45,000 deleted emails to legislative council) and Compliance Officer Kirsten Franzen whose job, among other things, is to ensure compliance with open records laws.

That it’s absolutely tone deaf to begin pushing out university system employees who are a part of a major scandal involving public records allegedly destroyed by a university president is apparently beyond the folks currently in charge of the system.

But perhaps bigger news is that the Bresciani emails have been found. I’m told by a source that, before leaving her position today, Holloway delivered over 100,000 of Bresciani’s emails – including the infamous 45,000 – to the Attorney General’s office. These emails were located on a university system recovery server. As many, including myself, had speculated these emails were deleted from Bresciani’s system but maintained on a university system backup.

I’m also told that Legislative Council attorney John Bjornson met with Attorney General Wayne Stenehjem about the emails. Bjornson indicated that he was aware of the existence of the emails, and apparently they are now safe in the hands of the AG.

The questions now are: What’s in them? And were they deleted illegally?