The allegations against Dickinson State University President Richard McCallum are serious, but should not be used by critics as an opportunity to condemn the entire university system.
McCallum is accused in an internal audit of intentionally inflating the university's enrollment figures last fall by including people who attended workshops or training sessions as enrolled students. The State Board of Higher Education voted unanimously to fire McCallum, and a termination letter was sent to him Monday. The board also named D.C. Colston, who is currently North Dakota State University's vice president for agriculture and university extension, to serve as interim president of Dickinson State until a permanent replacement is hired.
McCallum has said he will not resign, and has until Aug. 22 to request a hearing to challenge his firing.
The internal audit also alleges that McCallum made scholarship awards to student athletes and international students not in accordance with university policy.
If McCallum did indeed intentionally inflate the university's enrollment figures, he deserves to be fired. Such a breach of trust must be dealt with quickly and strongly. But it should also be seen for what it is: The act of one person. Critics of the university system have no basis to use McCallum's situation as an indictment of the entire university system.