Earlier this week I wrote about the North Dakota University System pushing out two of their top accountability officers. Chief Auditor Tim Carlson and Compliance Officer Kirsten Franzen have been placed on administrative leave pending termination. The university system says Carlson was less than honest with his resume, and that Franzen was behaving inappropriately. Franzen has so far declined to comment, but Carlson told me that the real reason were policies he and Franzen were working on to require records retention and disclosure of conflicts of interest within the university system.
The person handling the pending terminations of Carlson and Franzen is NDUS Chief of Staff Murray Sagsveen, and this isn’t the first time Sagsveen has found himself in the middle of turmoil involving those he supervises.
In 2000 Sagsveen was North Dakota’s Health Officer and faced accusations from employees who claimed he was intimidating them and threatening them with retribution. Which is pretty much what Carlson says he and Franzen have faced from Sagsveen for trying to implement new accountability standards for the university system.
You can read a thorough June of 2000 Bismarck Tribune article about Sagsveen’s past struggles with subordinates below.
Given Sagsveen’s past, you have to wonder if all of these employees who are accusing him of intimidation are lying and that it’s really Sagsveen who is operating with pure intent? Or maybe, just maybe, these employees are trying to do the right thing and what Sagsveen is doing is wrong.