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TJ Jerke, Forum News Service, Published March 15 2013

ND House passes resolution abolishing Board of Higher Education

BISMARCK - North Dakota House lawmakers Friday passed a resolution that would allow voters, through a constitutional amendment, to restructure the higher education system by turning the chancellor into an appointed position by the governor.

The appointee would lead a department of higher education. The change would eliminate the State Board of Higher Education, which has been responsible for hiring a chancellor to lead the North Dakota University System.

The House passed House Concurrent Resolution 3047, sponsored by Rep. Al Carlson, R-Fargo, with a 64-28 vote.

If passed by the Senate, the measure will be placed on the November 2014 ballot. If passed in the statewide election, the system would become effective July 1, 2015.

House Concurrent Resolution 3042 failed right after by a 21-70 vote. That resolution would have allowed voters to amend the state constitution to remove the state board and create an elected commissioner of higher education.

There have been several proposals introduced during this legislative session as some lawmakers have expressed dissatisfaction with Chancellor Hamid Shirvani, who was hired last year to lead North Dakota’s 11 public colleges and universities.