I’ll confess to not being terribly subtle in my newspaper column today, but I think the time for soft peddling the problem that NDSU President Dean Bresciani is for his institution and the state has long since come and gone.
It’s time for Bresciani to be gone, I guess.
I know that will inspire the usual chorus from Bison football fans and other NDSU die hards that I’ve just got some sort of a vendetta against the school and its president, which isn’t exactly true. I have no ill will towards NDSU as an institution. I just wish it had a better sort of leadership.
[mks_pullquote align=”right” width=”300″ size=”24″ bg_color=”#ffffff” txt_color=”#000000″]The current leadership of the university system has said repeatedly that they would like to move on from the chaos which has imbued the universities over the past several years. That’s a good goal. There may be nothing they could do to further it more than to send a bureaucratic cancer like Bresciani packing.[/mks_pullquote]
And I do have a vendetta against public officials who are bad at their jobs and abusive of taxpayer resources. That’s Bresciani, in a nutshell.
The Bismarck Tribune also has an editorial today which is extremely critical of Bresciani, though they fall short of calling for the man’s ouster. It does illustrate a point, though.
Bresciani has created a toxic situation for himself, and by extension NDSU. The Legislature doesn’t trust him. He has a combative relationship with the chancellor and the State Board of Higher Education. He is perceived as an arrogant spendthrift by the public. For you NDSU partisans out there, how well do you think that situation is going to serve your beloved school now that the state is entering at least a few years of budget tightening?
Do you think Bresciani is going to be able to swim those political waters effectively with the self-created baggage of controversy and scandal hanging from around his neck?
The man is a cancer, and from what I’m hearing his circle of supporters – made up of influential Fargo business leaders and alumni – is getting smaller with each new negative headline he creates for the school.
Moving away from Bresciani would be relatively painless for the university system. Bresciani’s current contract ends on June 30.
The current leadership of the university system has said repeatedly that they would like to move on from the chaos which has imbued the universities over the past several years. That’s a good goal. There may be nothing they could do to further it more than to send a bureaucratic cancer like Bresciani packing.
UPDATE: UND spokesman Peter Johnson emails this correction:
In your column you called NDSU “North Dakota’s largest institution of higher education.” I’m not sure what parameters you are looking at, but in terms of enrollment, UND’s official fall 2015 enrollment was 14,951; NDSU’s was 14,516.
I’ve made the correction.