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Published July 01 2013

Forum editorial: Another cheap shot at NDSU

One of the criticisms in discredited evaluations of North Dakota University System presidents was that the North Dakota State University Foundation was not raising enough money. That bit of hokum was included in then-Chancellor Hamid Shirvani’s evaluation of NDSU President Dean Bresciani.

The State Board of Higher Education sent Shirvani packing earlier than the July 15 date that had been set as his last day on the job. One of the reasons for the early out was the chancellor’s one-man-show evaluations of the presidents, which were roundly criticized by board members.

The NDSU foundation remarks in the evaluation further suggest the chancellor was more interested in taking parting potshots rather than making fair and accurate assessments of the presidents and the campuses. Indeed, had Shirvani revealed his record regarding foundation revenues when his was president at California State University, Stanislaus, he might have moderated his sniping at NDSU’s foundation.

While Shirvani was at the California school, the Stanislaus Foundation’s contributions dropped from $2.77 million in 2009 to an anemic $1.5 million in 2012, according to the foundation’s website. The NDSU foundation raised $15 million to $17 million in just one recent year.

Not only were the California numbers quite modest when compared to a single year at NDSU, but the trend at Stanislaus during the years examined was down – all on Shirvani’s watch.

It is a tad disingenuous for the now departed chancellor to have taken a shot at what clearly is a successful foundation fundraising program at NDSU, when in his previous job his university foundation’s fundraising was going backward.

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Forum editorials represent the opinion of Forum management and the newspaper’s Editorial Board.