Chancellor Asks for Probe on Pressure Over Gubernatorial Primary - Higher Education
Higher Education News and Jobs

Chancellor Asks for Probe on Pressure Over Gubernatorial Primary

Email


by Dave Kolpack, Associated Press


FARGO, N.D. — The chancellor of the North Dakota University System on Monday called for the state to investigate what he calls attempts by people to pressure him to influence the 2016 primary election for governor.

Chancellor Mark Hagerott said earlier this week that he received multiple phone calls before the June primary pressing him to disavow or fire former Gov. Ed Schafer after Schafer endorsed former computer software executive Doug Burgum over Attorney General Wayne Stenehjem. Schafer was interim president of the University of North Dakota at the time. He finished out his term.

Hagerott declined to tell The Associated Press Monday who pressured him about Schafer’s endorsement. The chancellor earlier told KFGO radio that some people threatened retribution against the campus and students if the chancellor failed to act.

“The investigation will have to bring this out — I can’t respond through the press,” Hagerott said. “These calls were made but I can’t say any more. There needs to be an official investigation.”

Hagerott said he would like the Board of Higher Education and a special assistant attorney general to investigate, since Stenehjem is still in office. Late Monday, Chief Deputy Attorney General Troy Seibel wrote to Hagerott to decline the request, saying it was outside the scope of the office’s role and suggesting he work through the Board of Higher Education.

Burgum easily won the primary and the general election. Stenehjem, a former legislator, received the state party’s endorsement. During the campaign, Burgum painted Stenehjem as part of an establishment that had done a poor job at managing money and has put the state’s future in doubt.

Schafer was a popular governor who was U.S. agriculture secretary under George W. Bush from 2008-2009. He did not respond to a phone message seeking comment.

Don Morton, president of the state Board of Higher Education, said Hagerott told him Monday afternoon about his request for an investigation.

“We certainly want to be supportive of the chancellor,” Morton said. “We just need more information. We will certainly discuss this at the appropriate time.”

Hagerott, a longtime Navy cybersecurity expert, was named chancellor in 2015.

RELATED ARTICLES >>
Amherst College to Use Mellon Grant to Develop Diverse Faculty As a recipient of a prestigious $500,000 grant from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, Amherst College will develop an initiative to identify and prepare students from underrepresented minority groups to become faculty in the humanities. The grant i...
State of the Union Address Omitted Key Concerns in Education, Experts Note President Donald Trump President Donald J. Trump delivered his first State of the Union address since taking office, calling the current era “our new American moment.” But he missed an opportunity for substantive conversation on the growing conce...
Fixing an Athletics Problem Jennifer Hunter’s career trajectory has been anything but traditional, particularly as it relates to her work with collegiate sports. A native of New Orleans, Hunter is a trained lawyer who spent two years working as an English instructor and advi...
Aligning Faith With Diversity Messiah College — a small, liberal arts Christian college located in Pennsylvania, just a few miles from Harrisburg — has always prided itself on its longstanding commitment to diversity and inclusion. For years, the college had a special assistan...
Semantic Tags: