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Whitney: Bresciani does not deserve the criticism for NDSU's nursing school flap

Once again, the knives are out for North Dakota State University President Dean Bresciani. This time for having the foresight to identify a way to tackle the dramatic nursing shortage here in North Dakota, and around the country. Those questionin...

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Craig Whitney, president/CEO of The Chamber of Fargo, Moorhead, West Fargo Special to The Forum
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Once again, the knives are out for North Dakota State University President Dean Bresciani. This time for having the foresight to identify a way to tackle the dramatic nursing shortage here in North Dakota, and around the country. Those questioning his motives are hard pressed to find anything that will stick, when his obvious intent was to move quickly on a proposed solution to a pending problem critical to adequate health care in North Dakota.

After legislative concern was expressed for a three-year-old deal with Sanford Health, struck to save a highly-regarded nursing school in Bismarck, the solution for some was to amend a bill currently working its way through the North Dakota legislature that would effectively eliminate the program. Proponents say elimination wasn't their intent, but it certainly appeared that way. And if they were looking to negotiate a better deal with Sanford, there are less dramatic ways to do it.

Which brings me back to Bresciani. The president has had a great year since his contract was last renewed. He has accomplished substantial and measurable things for the university, and worked hard, with sincere intent, to address issues raised by the North Dakota University System Chancellor. Those suggesting these efforts are less than genuine not only insult Bresciani, but the NDSU students, staff and faculty he has genuinely promised to represent-all of whom have expressed their belief in his honest leadership during difficult times for colleges and universities in our state.

When the nursing school issue appeared this last week, President Bresciani acted swiftly and decisively to address the issue with our elected officials. He took responsibility for his actions to help save the program in 2013, and will respectfully see this current challenge through to resolution.

Bresciani's contract is again up for consideration this June. While one wonders what's next in the efforts to discredit a trustworthy individual with exceptional leadership skills, the president continues to prove why he is the right person at the right time for North Dakota State University.

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Whitney is the president and CEO of the Fargo Moorhead West Fargo Chamber of Commerce.

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