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

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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