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Amy Dalrymple, Forum News Service, Published March 05 2010

12 advance in NDSU president search

Dick Hanson and D.C. Coston will move forward in the North Dakota State University president search, but local candidate James Carlson did not make the cut.

The interim president and vice president for agriculture are among 12 candidates a search committee wants to look at more closely.

James Carlson, co-founder of PRACS who taught at NDSU for 10 years, was not brought up for discussion during Thursday’s meeting.

Some committee members said after the meeting that Carlson didn’t have a strong enough academic background.

“He’s certainly a good researcher, a successful entrepreneur, he’s done a lot of great things for the community,” said Mark Meister, president of the University Senate. “But for myself, I was looking for somebody who had substantially more experience within a college university academic system.”

Carlson said it was tough to react to the news without knowing why the committee cut him from consideration.

“Hopefully they will pick the right person,” Carlson said. “What’s important is we have a president who moves the university to move forward.”

One applicant who will move forward is William Ruud, president of Shippensburg University of Pennsylvania, a campus of more than 8,000 students.

Ruud, a University of North Dakota alumnus, was among the top four finalists in the UND president search in 1999.

Ruud was encouraged to apply for the UND presidency again during the most recent search, but he had only recently arrived at Shippensburg and did not apply for the UND job.

Search consultant Garry Owens said he expects up to 10 additional candidates to apply. The committee’s next meeting is March 24.

Nearly half of the candidates continuing in the search have recently stepped down from their positions, some under pressure and one after a no-confidence vote.

Committee members said they wanted to keep a broad list of candidates to look at and not automatically rule them out because of a resignation.

“There are good reasons to resign occasionally,” said committee member Kevin McCaul, dean of science and math.

The next step is reference checking, which will allow committee members to ask questions about those resignations, McCaul said.

The other candidates are:

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