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Six North Dakota University System chancellor semifinalists selected

BISMARCK - Six will advance in the search for a new North Dakota University System chancellor. A search committee reviewed 21 applicants Wednesday and selected six, including Fargo Republican state Sen. Tim Flakoll, to interview on Feb. 9. The se...

BISMARCK - Six will advance in the search for a new North Dakota University System chancellor.

A search committee reviewed 21 applicants Wednesday and selected six, including Fargo Republican state Sen. Tim Flakoll, to interview on Feb. 9.

The semifinalists are:

<•> Loren Anderson, president of Pacific Lutheran University in Tacoma, Wash. Anderson is originally from Rugby, N.D., and manages JDL Farms of Rugby. He previously worked for Concordia College in Moorhead. Anderson has a Ph.D. in communication theory and research from the University of Michigan.

<•> Flakoll, provost of the Tri-College University. He also is director of downtown operations for North Dakota State University. Flakoll has a master's degree from NDSU's department of animal and range sciences.

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<•> Marshall Hill, executive director for the Nebraska Coordinating Commission for Post-Secondary Education. Hill has a Ph.D. in music education from Florida State University.

<•> Hamid Shirvani, president of California State University, Stanislaus. He is an architect and has a Ph.D. from Princeton University.

<•> George Weathersby of Wayne, Pa., chairman and CEO of Genesys Solutions and former CEO of the Indiana Commission for Higher Education. He holds a Ph.D. from Harvard in decision and control theory.

<•> Warren Kent Wray, interim chancellor, Missouri University of Science and Technology. Wray has a Ph.D. in civil engineering from Texas A&M University.

The 15-member search committee includes campus presidents, members of the state Board of Higher Education, business and community members, and student, faculty and staff representatives.

Katie Hasbargen, a search committee member representing Microsoft in Fargo, said she is impressed with the applicants.

"This is a spectacular slate of candidates," Hasbargen said. "We are lucky to have this many people to choose from, and I think it's going to be a really hard choice."

The new hire will succeed Chancellor Bill Goetz, who is retiring in August. The committee plans to bring three finalists for interviews in March and recommend a new chancellor at that time. The goal is for a new chancellor to begin by July 1, depending on that person's current obligations, said Board President Grant Shaft.

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Committee members debated whether a Ph.D. or other terminal degree should be required. Goetz does not have a Ph.D.

University of North Dakota President Robert Kelley said faculty would likely prefer a doctorate degree, but others may say a candidate's leadership experience is more important.

John Girard, the board's faculty adviser who teaches at Minot State University, said he's posed that question to other professors and found many would support a chancellor without a terminal degree.

"Faculty see our chancellor more as an administrator than as an academic leader," Girard said.

Flakoll is the only semifinalist who doesn't have a doctorate degree.

In 1999 and 2001, Flakoll listed a doctorate from Somerset University, England, on a biography he furnished to the North Dakota Legislative Council website, according to Forum archives.

But that doctorate disappeared from his bio during the 2003 legislative session.

Somerset University was fined by the local government for advertising dubious degrees and quit operating in 1998, Forum archives show. Flakoll told The Forum in 2004 he dropped the Ph.D. from his resume because he learned the university no longer operates.

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On Wednesday, Flakoll said he is "thrilled" to be a semifinalist, but declined to comment further until after the committee works through its process.

The slate of semifinalists eliminates the possibility of a woman becoming chancellor. Two women were among the applicants, but neither received support from the committee. Three committee members are women.

Shaft said the search consultants attempted to recruit women and minorities for the position and advertised in periodicals targeted at those groups.

The university system is paying consultant firm AGB Search $65,000 plus travel and other expenses to assist with the search.

The salary range the board has adopted for the chancellor job is $211,201 to $350,000.

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

Related Topics: EDUCATION
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