Higher Education's Challenge Is That Their Leadership Thinks Problems Are Just Misconceptions

These are truly remarkable statements from North Dakota University System Chancellor Larry Skogen:

Larry Skogen, chancellor of the North Dakota University System, said Friday that misconceptions, including those about transparency, are the greatest challenge facing the state’s higher education system. …

“People have this perception that no one in higher education is held accountable,” but that is untrue, Skogen said. For example, he said, former DSU President Richard McCallum was fired after he allegedly inflated enrollment numbers.

Also, Skogen said he has heard many people say NDUS constantly violates open meeting laws and open records laws, but the system has had one records violation and two meeting violations the past 20 months, he said.

So, there’s no problems in the university system because they fired one guy after one of our state’s four-year institutions got caught issuing hundreds of phony diplomas. But then, they only fired one person. McCallum didn’t perpetrate diploma fraud on that scale all on his own.

How come nobody else was held accountable?

And Skogen is playing fast and loose with the facts on open records/meetings violations. He said the university system has only had three in the last 20 months, but I count 10 according to the Attorney General’s website.

I’d say that Skogen is only counting violations by the North Dakota University System itself, but I count five violations since July of 2013 for the NDUS and/or the State Board of Higher Education specifically.

If there’s a challenge the university system is facing, it’s that their top officials can’t be honest about their problems.

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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