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Ryan Johnson, Published March 19 2013

ND higher ed board schedules another special meeting on Chancellor Shirvani

BISMARCK – North Dakota’s State Board of Higher Education has scheduled a second special meeting this month regarding Chancellor Hamid Shirvani on Thursday.

A meeting notice for the 2 p.m. conference call, which will originate from the Bismarck State College campus, was released Tuesday afternoon. The agenda lists one item, “discussion of Board support for Chancellor Shirvani.”

President Duaine Espegard said the call will give board members another chance to discuss a report from University System General Counsel Claire Holloway, who investigated allegations against the embattled chancellor, including that he had instructed staff to intentionally ignore state open meeting laws.

Holloway presented her report last Thursday at a special board meeting. She said then that her inquiry found “no substantive evidence of willful wrongdoing” on the part of Shirvani, who has been chancellor since July 1.

The allegations were raised during the board’s March 7 regular meeting by student representative Sydney Hull, who said the claims were brought forward by past and present central office staff in Bismarck.

Espegard said he scheduled this week’s meeting to follow up on Holloway’s report.

“It was 200 and some pages that she provided there, and it looked like everything was pretty well-explained,” he said. “Everybody has had a chance to look at it, so we’ll take a look at it this week and see if there’s anything else needed or what’s going on.”

Espegard said he doesn’t expect it to be a contentious meeting and guessed the call would be finished within an hour.

Readers can reach Forum reporter Ryan Johnson at (701) 241-5587