The North Dakota Board of Higher Education has another vacancy after member Richie Smith resigned, following fellow member Claus Lembke's resignation in April.
Smith said he lost his passion for higher education, and decided his seat for the board created too many conflicts with his work and his family. Something had to give, he said, and that was his seat on the board. Lembke offered similar reasons when he resigned in April, more than a year before his term was to expire.
The resignations make the job of incoming Chancellor Hamid Shirvani even tougher. Shirvani, who begins his new job on July 1, was hired to replace retiring chancellor William Goetz.
The board has become a tough place to work in recent years. The battle between the NCAA?and nickname supporters over the University of North Dakota's Fighting Sioux logo continues, and the Dickinson?State University scandal surrounding inflated enrollment numbers and charges of operation a "diploma mill" for foreign students put the glare of the spotlight squarely on the higher education system.
We have no doubt competent replacements for Smith and Lembke will be found, but the overall work load and time commitment for members of the Board of Higher Education will likely continue to grow in the future. We hope the new members know what's waiting for them.