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Amy Dalrymple, Published October 30 2009

Chancellor pledges progress

Chancellor Bill Goetz assured faculty, staff and students Thursday that North Dakota State University’s transition to a new president will not hurt the school’s progress.

Goetz held three open forums at NDSU to discuss the new interim president and a search for a permanent president.

President Joseph Chapman is resigning Jan. 2, though after Dec. 1 his only role at NDSU will be to conduct the commencement ceremonies, Goetz said.

Richard Hanson will become interim president on Dec. 1, Goetz said. Hanson, an NDSU alumnus and former faculty member, is wrapping up his duties as president of Waldorf College in Forest City, Iowa, which is being sold.

Some faculty and staff had concerns about decisions being delayed during the transition, such as filling open positions and budget planning.

Goetz, who also met with Chapman’s Cabinet and deans Thursday, said he wants to make sure NDSU continues moving forward.

“We must stay the course,” Goetz said. “We will get through this, and we will be better for it.”

A search committee and a search consultant will be named at the state Board of Higher Education’s Nov. 19 meeting.

Goetz said the committee will have no more than 16 members and will include faculty, staff, students and community members. He’ll seek nominations for the committee.

Mark Sheridan, a biological sciences professor, encouraged Goetz to have a significant number of faculty on the committee because faculty are central to NDSU’s mission.

The committee will meet shortly after the Nov. 19 board meeting and establish a timeline for the search.

Goetz has said he wants a president in place on July 1, but Thursday he said finding the best candidate will be more important than the date.

“Our job should be to get the right person, the right president for North Dakota State University,” Goetz said.

Andy Schlicksup, NDSU student body vice president, said he’s glad Goetz met with students because there’s been some confusion about how the search process will work.

Vance Olson, president of NDSU’s staff senate, said employees appreciate the communication from Goetz during this transition.

“It’s a time of uncertainty, and it’s emotional,” said Olson, an electronic technician for the heating plant. Knowing that an interim is appointed, “has lifted our spirits and given us hope,” he said.

Readers can reach Forum reporter Amy Dalrymple at (701) 241-5590