Guest Post: Legislator Doesn't See Any Truth To Charges Of Fraud Against Shirvani

In response to the theatrics that occurred in the House committee yesterday in which charges of fraud were alleged. I found the whole thing to be unprofessional, inappropriate and without merit.

Anyone who listened to the NDUS CIO and Chancellor Shirvani’s response to the allegations couldn’t possibly find any merit to the charges. There has been a well-orchestrated, tactical attack to assassinate the character Chancellor Shirvani from day one of his time in office, this latest spectacle being yet another sad attempt force him out.

The lengths to which some have gone to discredit and destroy a single person are truly disheartening and unlike anything I’ve ever experienced before in my time in office.

It’s no wonder public perception of politicians and government in general is so low. Tactics like the ones deployed over the past six months lead me – and many in the public I believe – to distrust and deplore the whole process. I would hope in the future considerations for the truth instead of opinions and personality disputes would be weighed before allegations such as these are brought forth.

In reviewing the information presented by NDUS employee, I didn’t find anything out of order and nothing to support the claims of data manipulation. Furthermore, last session the legislature indicated it didn’t want universities to use the peer comparisons. What the Chancellor presented in his testimony was national average statistics and aspirational peers when presenting the data.
This is absolutely what he should’ve done and nothing about that is “fraud.”

Also included in the information presented was a three page document with suggested questions for legislators to ask the Chancellor. Now ask yourself, if the allegations were pure in nature why would these questions be included in the packet of information?
It’s pretty simple. They were part of the plan to destroy the Chancellor.

The vision laid out by Chancellor Shirvani is sound and will bring the needed accountability, transparency, integration, uniformity and most importantly I believe the results the legislature has demanded from the university system.

We can all agree that it’s fine to disagree on policy, but as a proud North Dakota citizen and Representative I have found the behavior of some in this process not to be very North Dakotan. I would hope the State Board of Higher Education, who I have criticized in the past, would stand behind this bold vision, plan and Chancellor Shirvani who’s trying to implement the needed changes to the system.

Rob Port is the editor of SayAnythingBlog.com, a columnist for the Forum News Service, and host of the Plain Talk Podcast which you can subscribe to by clicking here.

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