University System Removes Termination For Auditor, Compliance Officer From Agenda


Last night the North Dakota University System filed an updated agenda for the November 20th (tomorrow) meeting of the State Board of Higher Education. On the original agenda (I wish I’d kept a copy) was a line item to address the terminations of NDUS Chief Auditor Timothy Carlson and Chief Compliance Officer Kirsten Franzen.

If you’re just catching up, I wrote about what’s going on here.

What was missing from the new agenda is any mention of Carlson or Franzen. This despite NDUS Chief of Staff Murray Sagsveen writing in his letter to Carlson instructing him about his impending termination that the board would be approving it on November 20th.


The SBHE can’t address Carlson or Franzen’s terminations without it being on the agenda. Otherwise, that would be an open meetings violation. And given the cocksure attitude Sagsveen has had about these terminations in his communications with Franzen and Carlson, it’s pretty clear something has changed.

Is the university system backing off the terminations? Or are they trying to orchestrate a less acrimonious departure for Carlson and Franzen? As in, maybe a golden parachute?

Neither Franzen nor Carlson are commenting on the matter at this point.

Also interesting, from the agenda, is that Chancellor Larry Skogen is recommending that North Dakota State University not get an exemption from participating in the unified NDUS email system. Bresciani, who has claimed in the past that NDUS staff has “hacked” his emails, claimed that NDSU should get an exemption but it looks like he may not be getting his way.

I’m guessing this article I wrote back in July, where in Rep. Bob Martinson compared NDSU President Dean Bresciani to former IRS boss Lois Lerner when it comes to turning over email records, maybe had something to do with the decision.