Print Column: Legislature’s Decision to Gut Auditor’s Powers Looks Worse and Worse

MINOT, N.D. — The State Board of Higher Education is getting a babysitter for North Dakota State School of Science President John Richman.

“The state’s university system may keep a closer eye on North Dakota State College of Science management after a state audit found problems with how the school handled business regarding its planned career academy,” my colleague April Baumgarten reported this week.

According to his current contract, Richman makes $201,896 per year with an $11,000 per year vehicle allowance, but will now need direct oversight from the SBHE until, as board member Kathy Neset put it, “confidence is rebuilt and trust is restored.”

Richman’s leadership has been a problem for years now. This action from the board, though modest, is overdue.

Refreshingly, it comes despite the Fargo-area Chamber of Commerce and a cadre of powerful business interests from the region expressing their opposition to any sort of accountability for Richman.

But for the purposes of this column, let’s focus on why the board acted.

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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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