Student rep on SBHE backs Shirvani buyout

BISMARCK — The student representative on the state Board of Higher Education plans to bring up a proposed contract buyout of North Dakota University System Chancellor Hamid Shirvani at the March 7 board meeting.

Buyout legislation is being offered by Sen. Tony Grindberg, R-Fargo, who said Monday he plans to offer a floor amendment to the higher education funding bill today or Wednesday.

It would provide $854,520 from the general fund to buy out the final two years of Shirvani’s three-year contract. If the board didn’t act, $35,605 would be returned to the general fund each month until the end of the next biennium.

The North Dakota Student Association took a Saturday vote of “no confidence” in Shirvani and supports buying out his remaining contract.

Sydney Hull, the state board’s student member, said Saturday’s NDSA vote “really leaves me no choice” but to bring the contract buyout plan up for discussion.

“I would not be doing my job as the student representative on the board if I ignored their calls for removal of the chancellor,” he said. “It is obvious wherever you stand on the issue that there are problems.”

Rob Port is the editor of 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. He writes a weekly column for several North Dakota newspapers, and also serves as a policy fellow for the North Dakota Policy Council.

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