Dickinson State Scandal Is Still Far From Over


In his budget address to the legislature today, Governor Jack Dalrymple was somewhat dismissive of many of the problems and scandals within North Dakota’s university system. He called them, including the massive diploma fraud perpetrated at Dickinson State University, “distractions.”

But the “distraction” continues at Dickinson State. Officials there, and in the university system as a whole, are very much in a “let’s move on” mode but federal investigations continue. The Dickinson Press reported this buried in an article about DSU teaming up with the private University of Mary:

The news seemed to come as a breath of fresh air for members of DSU’s faculty and administration as the school has been mired in controversy for much of the past two years. A scandal involving DSU’s artificial inflation of enrollment numbers came to light in early 2012, leading to the school being placed “on notice” by its accrediting body, the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools.

The next step after being place on notice is for an institution to lose its accreditation with the NCA, which also oversees U-Mary. U.S. Department of Education officials visited the DSU campus last week, although the nature of the visit is unknown. Representatives from the DOE have not returned calls made by The Press.

There is still a chance DSU could lose its accreditation. And, remember, there are still no state criminal charges brought against anyone in the university system who was responsible for this fraud.

It’s one thing to want to look forward, not backward, as a public official. It’s quite another to try and sweep a scandal that is still festering under the rug.

Rob Port is the editor of SayAnythingBlog.com. In 2011 he was a finalist for the Watch Dog of the Year from the Sam Adams Alliance and winner of the Americans For Prosperity Award for Online Excellence. In 2013 the Washington Post named SAB one of the nation's top state-based political blogs, and named Rob one of the state's best political reporters.

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  • RCND

    Is there any more room under that rug Higher Ed and state leadership keeps trying to sweep these embarrassing issues, so we hopefully wont see them anymore?

    • RepublicanBeliever

      I think I saw Dalrymple at a rug store today purchasing a new one!

      • NDConservative2011

        I hear that it is a “special order” as there is no store in the state that can stock that high of rug inventory.

  • RepublicanBeliever

    Does anyone find it strange that UMary wants to partner with an unreputable school, as Fr. Shea stated at the press conference, such as Dickinson State which is one the verge of being closed for enrollment fraud? In the past Umary partnered with prestigious schools such as Arizona State, one of America’s top research universities and a campus in Rome. What reason could there be for this partnership?

    • RCND

      Access to state funding which they normally would not be able to tap

    • http://sayanythingblog.com Rob

      From what I’m hearing faculty at both schools are upset. DSU because nobody there was told anything. UMary because their school is now tied to a disreputable institution.

      • areukiddingme

        “From what I’m hearing”

        How is the rumor mill these days? You know actual reputable reporters base stories on facts, not crap they here at the water cooler. Not that you care, you have your army of minions that will swallow everything you say, no questions asked.

        • http://sayanythingblog.com Rob

          Believe what you want.

        • joker

          Hey areukiddingme, nice attempt to muddy the waters and spin the conversation away from the topic at hand! Thank you Rob for continuing to shed light on the unethical activites of some of our state officials. Please know that there is a silent majority out here that appreciates your hard work and ability to not be swayed or bullied by the Hoeven Dalrymple cronies.

        • smokescreen

          By reputable reporters do you mean those like the Fargo Fool’em, oops I mean Forum? Gov. Dalrymple’s friends in the media feed garbage like this to the public


          The Fargo Forum is one of Gov. Dalrymple’s biggest media cheerleaders and they want the public to forget about all the past fraud committed by higher ed. (it’s here in black and white)

          Gov. Dalrymple’s water carriers in the media want the public to just roll over and accept the governor’s resquested higher ed budget increase from the current $516 million level to $600 million (because it’s only $5 million more than what higher ed requested). Let’s not forgot the governor wants $146 million on top of that from taxpayers to pay for new construction projects and buildings on campuses.

          Thank goodness Rob is willing to pursue the real stories in higher ed and doesn’t push the governor’s talking points like the lamestream media in North Dakota. Rob’s reputation on higher ed issues is spot on. Anyone with half a brain can see through the Fargo Forum smokescreen.

          • RCND

            My favorite line in the second link was “catch up on delayed investments”, ie give us some of the money we asked for before but you didn’t give us

  • UnfortunateDistraction

    Dickinson State President Coston is running around telling the public that federal Dept of Ed investigators at the school last week was not connected to the past enrollment issues. But rumor has it the Dept of Ed poured over all the enrollment documents. What’s the disconnect?

    • stupidrumors

      The “disconnect”, is that you are listening to stupid and unfounded rumors…

      • http://sayanythingblog.com Rob

        Says the anonymous internet troll.

  • Roy_Bean

    Normally I hate initiated measures but if the NDUS gets another $89 million increase and DSU is swept under the rug then it’s time for the people to step in. I wonder if Governor Jack would be distracted by that?

    • JW -USA

      You have my attention, what would the petition say? how many sigs would we need? would it be to remove the Higher ed clause from the State Constitution?

      That would be a great fight, would Alum kick in and fund the higher ed side?

      Would they vote their pocket books as they see the waste and the tuition of their children and grandchildren go up and up and vote for it.

      The argument and comparisons to other states our size is easy, couple that with some of the issues over the last 5 years or so, and at the very least Higher ed would have to make changes just out of fear..

  • Robert Frost

    Rob, how about some sources, or are you going to keep taking pot shots at the university system while hide behind the journalists shield, which a) you don’t deserve, and b) just allows you to make stuff up and attribute it to rumors?

    • http://sayanythingblog.com Rob

      Sources…for what exactly? Nobody is denying that the Department of Education was at DSU. And while university officials poo-poo the idea of lost accreditation, it’s a fact that it’s still a possibility.

      We can debate on the likelihood.

      But, by all means, shoot the messenger.