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Amy Dalrymple, Forum News Service, Published March 31 2010

Hanson ‘disappointed’ to be removed from consideration for NDSU president

Dick Hanson said Tuesday that he’s disappointed to be cut from the North Dakota State University president search, but it’s not changing how he operates as interim.

“It’s a real privilege to do what I’m doing, and I’ll do it until the next person is on board,” Hanson said.

The search committee voted last week to exclude Hanson from the candidates they interview.

A majority of committee members said Hanson, former president of Waldorf College in Iowa, did not have the same level of credentials or breadth of experience as the candidates who advanced.

Hanson said the committee’s decision doesn’t change what he’s doing at NDSU, which includes resolving budget issues before a new president takes over.

“We’ve got several important things to get done here,” he said.

Hanson has dealt with several challenges since arriving at NDSU in December, including budget shortfalls and the Minard Hall collapse.

“The biggest shock was the building falling in a hole,” Hanson said. “It turned out to be sort of a metaphor for everything else.”

The committee initially wanted a new president to start on July 1, but the start date could be pushed back to fall semester.

Hanson’s contract is through June 30, but Hanson said he’s told the chancellor he could stay longer.

Hanson said he is now job hunting and would ideally like to pursue another college presidency.

Student reaction to Hanson being cut from the search was mixed, said Amber Altstadt, student body president and one of five search committee members who voted to advance Hanson.

Some students supported the committee’s decision while others, including Altstadt, see Hanson as a strong student advocate and wanted to see him make the interview stage.

“I felt like some of the concerns could have been addressed in an interview,” Altstadt said.

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