Former North Dakota University System Chancellor Accused of Sexual Harrassment


ND Higher Ed Chancellor Ham Shirvani shares a laugh during his meeting with UND staff Tuesday at the UND Memorial Union . photo by Eric Hylden/Grand Forks Herald

Hamid Shirvani had a tumultuous eleven-month tenure as the chancellor of the North Dakota University System which ended when the State Board of Higher Education opted to buy out his contract for north of $900,000.

He’s now the President of Briar Cliff University, a Catholic institution in Sioux City, Iowa, and he’s been accused of sexual harassment.

The accusations are currently under review:

Among the complaints: accusations that Shirvani singled out a small group of women for raises above what other department employees were given, secret dinners with the same women at off-campus locations, and conversations the complainants felt were inappropriate for the president to have with a subordinate.

KCAU 9 has also learned the university has done an internal investigation and the Briar Cliff Board of Trustees Executive Committee determined there wasn’t enough evidence to conclude that any policies were violated.

A letter from the university’s lawyer does say the committee would be addressing the issues that have been brought to its attention.

It’s been a rocky road for Shirvani. In addition to his aborted time here in North Dakota he was also a controversial figure during his time President of California State Stanislaus where he wasn’t exactly a favorite of the faculty.