John Andrist: It's Time For NDSU President Dean Bresciani To Go

ndsu north dakota state university NDSU president dean bresciani

It’s time for NDSU president Dean Bresciani to go.

He represents the third Fargo and NDSU based effort to come into conflict with his boss, the chancellor of higher education, Mark Hagerott.

Folks, we have a terrible culture at NDSU. They think they are bigger and more important than the system. And with Fargo’s supportive and dominant role in the legislature, something like eight of the districts, they have prevailed.

They’ve gotten rid of three chancellors who stood in their way. They don’t like the boss? They find a way to fire him, going through the back door. Fargo wins; the system loses. It has to stop.

North Dakota already serves the highest per capita ratio of public college students per person. The boss says it’s time to focus on retention and graduation rates.

Bresciani has essentially thumbed his nose at him, deciding to press for a kingdom building 25 percent enrollment increase. Where will they come from? Mostly out of state, or partly from recruiting students from other institutions.

[mks_pullquote align=”right” width=”300″ size=”24″ bg_color=”#ffffff” txt_color=”#000000″]It’s time for the Board of Higher Education to do something bold, for once. Send Bresciani down the road, and focus on a team player to replace him — a problem solving business man the likes of Ed Schafer.[/mks_pullquote]

It’s terribly flawed policy, empire building above quality. But beyond that it is the initial stages of a third NDSU based insurrection in the system, and the second led by Bresciani.

Bresciani is a capable guy, but we can’t solve our higher ed problems when we hire a chancellor to coordinate our system, and then let the presidents tie his hands.

It’s time for the Board of Higher Education to do something bold, for once. Send Bresciani down the road, and focus on a team player to replace him — a problem solving business man the likes of Ed Schafer.

The board needs to quit paying lip service to building a system that is the centerpiece of policy adopted by themselves and their own chancellor.

Even more important, by doing so they will send a message that when they pick a chancellor he is their chosen CEO, the boss.

Imagine a governor choosing a department administrator who performs in such a way that he flaunts the governor, then begins to build a counter structure to get rid of the governor.

Can’t happen? It has in Higher Ed, over and over again.

This is a cry for help. Please Board of Higher Education, stand up for structure.

Who is “they” anyway

It’s popular American parlor sport to talk about the ways the rich and powerful control our lives.

Oil prices hit $50 a barrel yesterday. Two years ago they were near $100, then they fell to almost $20. We’re suspicious. We suspect “they” are behind it, although we don’t really know who “they” is.

If some entity or somebody really is in control, they don’t seem to have very good control.

Same with gasoline. If they were smart enough to force up the cost to $4 a gallon, why did they let it fall below $2?

More important, who is they?

They is a word we use every day. When we are talking about all the dire thing “they” are doing, perhaps we should think about who “they” are, or if they really exist in a market economy.

Wrong again

When Donald Trump announced plans to run for president I thought it was a joke. I was wrong.

When he actually won a couple of states, I was surprised, but confident his star would soon burn out. I was wrong.

Then the field of Republican nominees swelled so much they couldn’t get them all together on a debate stage. They all looked better than Trump to me, so I decided there is no chance he can be the last man standing. Wrong once more.

Suddenly my tune was changing, despairing that if he did get the nomination it would certainly be handing the presidency to Hillary.

Will I be wrong again?

What happened last week was Donald toning down his demeaning, insulting campaign and talking for the first time about people with whom he is collaborating and some of the policies he plans.

So I’m wondering, if his rhetoric modifies and he becomes more presidential, which Donald are we to believe?

I’m passing on that one, because I’ve already exceeded my “wrong” allowance.

A poll released by MSNBC last week found only 35 percent of us believe Trump is trustworthy. The numbers for Hillary? 19 percent.

Meanwhile, another report indicates there is a growing number of Democrats moving into the Trump camp. How many times can a guy be wrong?

Wow! What a crazy year.