Fired ND chancellor still one of America’s highest paid college administrators


By Rob Port | North Dakota Bureau

GOLDEN PARACHUTE: The severance package for former North Dakota University System Chancellor Hamid Shirvani made him one of the highest paid university administrators in the country, despite being on the job less than a year.

BISMARCK, N.D. — Former North Dakota University System Chancellor Hamid Shirvani was fired just less than a year ago, but under the terms of his termination he will continue receiving his salary, benefits and even raises through June 30, 2015.

Thanks to that golden parachute, Shirvani is the third highest paid university administrator in the country according to a ranking by the Chronicle of Higher Education.

Shirvani made over $1.311 million in fiscal year 2013 according to the ranking. Of that figure, over $962,000 was severance pay, $349,000 was base salary and over $36,000 was retirement pay.

The severance and retirement pay were accelerated payouts mandated by his separation agreement. According to that agreement, Shirvani was to continue receiving his $350,000-per-year salary through next June with two raises. In addition, Shirvani was to receive contributions to his retirement account of 11.5 percent of his salary through January 1, 2014 and 12.5 percent through 2015.

The former chancellor is also entitled to participate in the state health insurance program through the end of his separation agreement.

Shirvani lasted less than a year as chancellor, beginning the job on July 1, 2012 and signing his separation agreement on June 3, 2013.

His tenure was a contentious one. According to the State Board of Higher Education, Shirvani was hired to be a CEO-style chancellor, but the system’s university presidents pushed back against his attempts to make the university system office more powerful.

Shirvani said in a television interview shortly after signing his separation agreement that he and his family had been followed and that one incident of harassment included someone defecating in the driveway of his home.

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