Higher ed board meets to discuss claims disputes
FARGO (AP) — The North Dakota Board of Higher Education spent much of its monthly meeting in Bismarck Thursday behind closed doors discussing a pair of disputed claims, including a labor complaint against the university system chancellor by a vice chancellor who was fired.
The board met privately for about an hour to discuss the complaint by Lisa Feldner, who was the system’s vice president of information technology and institutional research before she was let go in September. Feldner accuses Chancellor Mark Hagerott of creating a hostile work environment and discriminating against women. Hagerott says he “strongly disagrees” with her assertions.
The board did not discuss the complaint when it returned to open session. Board President Don Morton, who said earlier he “strongly disagrees” with the grievance, said during the meeting that the board doesn’t want to debate it publicly.
“We’ve chosen to go with due process,” Morton said. “Due process is a part of our society. It’s a part of our democracy. Due process can take time, but due process also can get to the truth. “
Hagerott has been running the university system since July 2015. He’s paid $372,000 annually.
The board at its September meeting rejected requests by board member Mike Ness for a special session to discuss Hagerott’s contract. GOP Rep. Al Carlson, the House majority leader, said after the meeting that the state has “done enough buying out” of contracts for chancellors and college presidents.