Surprise: Evaluations Of North Dakota University Presidents Canceled

If there were any doubts that current North Dakota University System Chancellor Larry Skogen (himself the former President of Bismarck State College) is little more than a rubber stamp for the other university presidents, you can set them aside.

Skogen’s predecessor, Hamid Shirvani, was asked by the State Board of Higher Education to produce evaluations of the university presidents during his last months in office. Some of those evaluations were scathing, and requested full job performance reviews.

When the university presidents through a hissy fit to the SBHE  – literally, even going so far as to suggest that my publication of the evaluations here on SAB was illegal – Shirvani was sent packing and Skogen was appointed to replace him.

One of Skogen’s first actions was to throw out Shirvani’s negative evaluations – but only the negative ones – and replace them with perfunctory and uniformly glowing reviews.

Now, months later, Skogen has also canceled the performance reviews of the presidents. Because why on earth would we want a performance reviews for the leadership of institutions that are becoming hugely more expensive every year, both in tax dollars and tuition, while producing largely mediocre academic outcomes.

GRAND FORKS, N.D. (AP) – The interim chancellor of the North Dakota University System has scrapped plans for extensive outside evaluations of college presidents.

Larry Skogen says the evaluations are expensive and would have to be scheduled on a rotation with two presidents each year. He says the decision is better left to his successor.

The so-called 360 reviews include confidential surveys and interviews. Skogen says because of North Dakota’s open records laws, the evaluations would have to be modified and would perhaps not be as effective.

Just so we’re clear, the university system thinks it is just fine to fly their bureaucrats around in private airplanes, but a performance evaluation for the presidents is just too gosh darn expensive.

Another moment of duplicity and shirked accountability brought to you by the North Dakota University 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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