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Fired former DSU president hired by Iowa college

Richard McCallum

Fired former Dickinson State University president Richard McCallum appears to be in another higher education cabinet position.

According to information posted on the Iowa Wesleyan College website, a man by the name of Richard McCallum, accompanied by a picture of the former DSU president, is employed at the school in the position of vice president for academic affairs and dean.

McCallum was terminated from his position at DSU by the State Board of Higher Education in 2011, a decision which he appealed unsuccessfully before an administrative law judge during a public hearing in late 2011.

McCallum -- who began his time as DSU president in 2008 -- was terminated after a 2011 audit revealed that DSU artificially inflated its enrollment numbers by counting people who attended workshops as enrolled students.

McCallum was also a candidate for the position of interim president at Florida State College in Jacksonville, Fla., in late 2012, as reported by the Florida Times-Union.

Several phone messages and emails for McCallum left by The Dickinson Press requesting comment about his employment situation were not returned Thursday and Friday. Messages for IWC President Steven Titus also went unreturned. McCallum has not spoken publicly about his termination from DSU, but at least one North Dakota state legislator raised an eyebrow to the news of his current position.

"Considering what happened here at Dickinson State, I'm surprised," said Sen. Rich Wardner, R-Dickinson. "I don't know all the details, but I'm surprised that he was able to pick up a position like that."

Though nothing is listed on the IWC website about McCallum's position being temporary, a college employee reached by phone, who declined to reveal her name, told The Dickinson Press that McCallum is "not on our payroll."

The woman, however, ended the call when asked to explain her comment. When reached Friday afternoon, IWC Board of Trustees chairperson Don Wiley said the decision to hire McCallum was made exclusively by Titus.

"The cabinet (at IWC) is hired and supervised by the president, that's not a board function," Wiley said. "The selection is (Titus') and the cabinet reports to him and not the board. From what I've seen, (McCallum) is doing a very nice and remarkable job here. I wasn't the one who hired him, so I can't comment on looking into background information and that sort of thing."

McCallum is involved in the hiring process for the position of chair of the IWC division of nursing, which last year was stripped of its accreditation by the Atlanta-based Accreditation Commission for Education in Nursing, according to information listed on the ACEN website.

On the IWC employment webpage, application materials for the nursing department's chair position are directed to be sent to McCallum.

In a story about the IWC nursing program that was published Aug. 21 in the Mt. Pleasant (Iowa) News, McCallum was quoted as stating that he didn't know why the college had lost its accreditation with the ACEN, referring to its stamp of approval as a "secondary accreditation."

Titus and McCallum both served in the U.S. Army in the 1990s and both have backgrounds in higher education in the state of Nebraska, according to Titus' bio on the IWC website and McCallum's resume provided to Florida State College that was obtained by the Florida Times-Union.

Iowa Wesleyan College is an independent four-year liberal arts institution in Mt. Pleasant, Iowa, affiliated with the United Methodist Church.

Bryan Horwath
A Wisconsin native, Horwath has been covering news in the Oil Patch of North Dakota since 2012. Horwath currently serves as the senior agriculture and political reporter for The Dickinson Press and, despite the team's tendency to always let him down, remains a diehard Minnesota Vikings fan.
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