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Amy Dalrymple, Published November 20 2009

Swiontek named head of NDSU search panel

MINOT, N.D. – The CEO of Gate City Bank of Fargo will lead a search committee to recommend finalists for the next North Dakota State University president.

Steve Swiontek, representing the NDSU Development Foundation and alumni, was named chairman of the 18-member committee.

The state Board of Higher Education appointed the committee during its meeting at Minot State University.

Chancellor Bill Goetz said he aimed to get representation from all constituent groups on campus as well as the community. Gender balance also was a priority, Goetz said.

Rachelle Hadland, the student member of the board, questioned why just one student was named to the committee.

Board President Richie Smith said he and Goetz didn’t want the committee to become too large. In addition, James Burgum, managing director of Arthur Ventures, who served as NDSU student body president in 2002-03, offers a recent student’s perspective, Smith said.

“It just comes down to numbers,” Smith said.

The committee includes two faculty members and no NDSU staff.

Goetz said he was under the impression that Kate Haugen, associate vice president for student affairs, was a staff member. Goetz said he may recommend another member to the committee so staff are represented.

The board also added Bruce Christianson of Minot to the names proposed by Goetz.

Board Vice President Jon Backes suggested Christianson, who is a former board member.

“This committee is lacking not having someone from the western part of the state,” Backes said.

Jon Jackson, the board’s faculty member, said the committee seemed thin on student and faculty representation, but several of the community members are supportive of the Higher Education Roundtable.

The committee, which will hold its first meeting

as soon as possible, is charged with recommending at least three finalists for NDSU president.

The board will then interview the finalists and select a president.

Also Thursday, the board delegated authority to Goetz to select a presidential search consultant. Goetz said he’s received nine proposals, ranging in cost from $50,000 to $65,000, not including travel expenses.

Board members also approved a $175,000 contract for NDSU Interim President Dick Hanson, who starts Dec. 1.

The contract includes $157,500 in salary and $17,500 in retirement contributions.

Hanson will not receive health insurance or other allowances.


NDSU president search committee


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