ND Higher Ed Board Member Resigns Citing Stress And Criticism
This may be the surest sign yet of the chaos and scandal in the North Dakota University System:
BISMARCK, N.D. (AP) – A member of North Dakota’s Board of Higher Education has resigned.
Claus Lembke (LEHM’-kee) says Tuesday the workload and stress of serving on the board got to be too much.
The board has had to wrestle with a number of issues recently, including the University of North Dakota’s Fighting Sioux nickname, problems at Dickinson State University and the hiring of a new chancellor.
Lembke says the board has also been taking a lot of public criticism.
This has become a bit of a trend. Historically SBHE members have usually opted to serve the maximum of two four-year terms, yet former SBHE President Jon Backes stepped down after one term and SBHE member Mike Haugen is also stepping down this year after one term.
Let’s review some of the problems the NDUS is facing:
- A “diploma mill” scandal at Dickinson State University that may still cost the school its accreditation
- A concerted effort by university officials to ignore the will of the people, and assert total independence from the state legislature, on the Fighting Sioux issue.
- Rampant, system-wide abuse of taxpayer funds including the employment of a double-dipping state Senator who charges his country club membership as an expense.
- Attempts to mislead the legislature, including Chancellor Bill Goetz lying about his attempts to limit the scope of a state audit into the “diploma mill” scandal.
- Efforts by Goetz and SBHE President Grant Shaft to intimidate media coverage of the DSU scandal, including Chancellor Goetz getting a local television station to spike stories.
- Serious problems in the vetting of incoming Chancellor Hamid Shirvani, including the oversight of a settlement worth tens of thousands of dollars that Shirvani’s former employers had to pay to one of his assistance.
We need to change the way our university system is governed. Clearly, the university system is no longer capable of governing itself.
If I were Lembke, I wouldn’t want to be associated with the university system any more either.
Update: AP reporter Dale Wetzel says Lembke is retiring because he’s sick of hearing bout higher ed problems at the coffee shop: