North Dakota Higher Ed Chancellor Bill Goetz Flat Out Lied To Legislators Yesterday

goetz influence media pic

SAB reporter Brian Howell posted this video report yesterday from the presentation of a state audit of Dickinson State University to the legislature. What you’ll see is an official from the state auditor’s office telling legislators that the university system attempted to limit the scope of the audit into DSU into only the Rough Rider Scholarship fund and, specifically, not the enrollment or tuition issues for foreign students which have become the most shocking part of the scandal that has surrounded that university.

Then you’ll see outgoing Chancellor Bill Goetz denying that any such request for limitation was made, saying there was “no way” it happened.

So who do we believe? Goetz and the university system, or the state auditor’s office? Thankfully, thanks to an open record request I made yesterday, we don’t have to find out. Here’s a letter I obtained sent by Chancellor Goetz to the state auditor’s office requesting that the scope of the audit be limited.

It’s right there in black-and-white. Goetz said he didn’t try to limit the scope of the audit, but he did even going so far as to specifically request that the auditor’s not look into the most scandalous problems at the university. At the end of the video, when Goetz says he’ll be presenting the audit report to the presidents of the other universities to ensure that problems don’t exist there, is laughable in the context of his lies.

This is a man in charge of one of the largest branches of the state government, an 11-campus university system with a $1.2 billion biennial budget, lying to the state legislature. And there will be no consequences, because remember that the university system believes it is an entity unto itself not accountable to either the state government or the voters on any issue be it telling the truth to the legislature to the Fighting Sioux issue.

We need to end the independence of the university system. They clearly cannot govern themselves.

Auditor Letter

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.

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  • $8194357

    Someone in a position of power and authority funded by taxpayers lied????

    What will this world come to now they (“started”) not telling the truth?..


    • Rob

      There should be consequences for this sort of thing, but there aren’t.

      • The Whistler

         People in the Higher Ed system need to know that they can be jailed for ripping off the taxpayers. 

        • Rob

          You would think that there is a case here for some criminal charges.  The misappropriation of funds in the scholarship programs alone should be enough for criminal charges.

          Where are our prosecutors?  And why are many of the crooks responsible still working at the university?

          • ndoldman

            The word Higher says it all, they are above any scrutiny. They teach classes in ethics but have none , who would have thought.

          • Camsaure

            I am pretty sure Stenchjem is on his side.

      • $8194357

        Agreed Rob…
        And on all levels of governance funded by taxpayer funding…

  • Roy_Bean

    I’ll be watching the rest of the statewide media to see if they report this too.  My guess is that the fix is in and they will hope this doesn’t get out. 

    • Rob

      I’ll be watching the rest of the statewide media to see if they report this too.

      Maybe this happens so often they don’t think it’s news any more.

      • $8194357

        Business as usual on all levels of governance..

  • RCND

    It will be interesting to know if he talks about expectations of integrity with all the college presidents today. Do as I say and not as I do…

  • Captornado

    Yet I was assured that Goetz was undoubtedly a man of integrity and could no way be involved  in such a scandal!

    • Rob

      Who made that assurance?

      • Captornado

        Not sure if I want to name drop but he used to be the GOP Treasurer in ND.

  • Opinonated

    Rob thank you for keeping this in the forefront, you have done the citizens of North Dakota a very valuable service with your hard work and honest reporting. We need to get a ballot inititiative started to put these people under the thumb of the legislature. It makes me sick how they have turned this state and its education system into a mockery.

    • Rob

      I’ll do my best.

  • Robertwetsch

    I was involved in the last edition of the Higher Ed roundtable as a private sector rep.  There we learned that the University system has over $100 million in deferred maintenance costs within the system.  I could never get a clear answer from the chancellor how that came to be but I asked a senior state senator during the next break how they could get so far behind in maintenance.  He responded that it was his understanding that maintenance budgets were being robbed to fund other things on campuses.  I asked him how that could be done and why no one had been fired.  It’s absolutely right to say there are no consequences for anything anyone does in Higher Ed.  Every one of the institutions need a similar audit as was done at DSU.

    • ec99

      About two decades ago it came out that UND buildings were on a 100-year maintenence cycle.

  • $8194357

    A person I know bought a 1993 Ford pickup traded in by NDSU with only 30,000 miles on it….
    Seems funding “use it or loose it” came thru to the tune of $50,000 for new school vehicle up grades…
    Taxpayer money well spent?
    No room for cuts in spending.??..
    We “really, really, can’t cut  property tax because of educations funding needs????????

  • Jimmypop

    port, it makes me ill you’re the only one telling this story. heck, even if you’re not 100% right, at least you’re looking into it and asking questions.

    i just can’t understand it. this shit sells newspapers.