Chancellor Hamid Shirvani made an early pitch to legislators Monday to justify why the University System should expand its staff by 30 workers instead of the seven new employees included in Gov. Jack Dalrymple’s budget proposal.
Now six months into the job, he was on hand during a Senate Appropriations Committee meeting to outline his agenda for boosting graduation and student retention rates, ratcheting up admission standards and achieving big improvements by 2020.
But Chairman Sen. Ray Holmberg, R-Grand Forks, said the hearing also was a chance to openly discuss “myths” of higher education here – including “buzz” that Sen. Tony Grindberg, R-Fargo, said is focused on a rumored plan by Shirvani to unilaterally fire five campus presidents at the end of the legislative session.
Board of Higher Education President Duaine Espegard responded to the rumor, saying it was “so far from the truth that I can’t imagine” and that only the board, not Shirvani, has the authority to fire campus leaders.