Attorney says dismissed Dickinson State University President McCallum will fight for his jobFARGO, N.D. (AP) — The attorney for fired Dickinson State University President Richard McCallum said today his client was not treated fairly and will fight for his job.
FARGO, N.D. (AP) — The attorney for fired Dickinson State University President Richard McCallum said today his client was not treated fairly and will fight for his job.
North Dakota University System Chancellor William Goetz said a notice of termination was sent to McCallum on Sunday, after McCallum did not respond to Goetz's earlier request to step down in a dispute over falsified enrollment numbers.
“Since he has not taken the initiative on his own to resign, this is a letter of intent to dismiss,” Goetz said Monday.
McCallum's attorney, Ben Thomas, of Fargo, said his client would ask for a review. McCallum has until 5 p.m. Thursday to request a hearing, Goetz said.
“The internal review report, cited as the basis for Goetz's decision, does not contain any findings that would support a request for Dr. McCallum's resignation, let alone his termination,” Thomas said in a statement to The Associated Press.
“Dr. McCallum looks forward to a review of the manner in which this investigation has been handled,” the attorney said.
Goetz said he had a brief meeting with McCallum on Monday morning in which McCallum turned in his laptop, keys, cell phone and business credit card.
“We had no discussion,” Goetz said.
The state Board of Higher Education will be asked to give final approval of the firing at its next meeting, which is scheduled in September at DSU.
Goetz has said the resignation request is a result of a recent review of DSU's enrollment showing that about 180 people were registered as students in the fall without their consent or knowledge.
The people attended seminars or training workshops at Dickinson State, the audit showed. They didn't attend classes, but they were counted as part-time students and given "A’' grades.
McCallum said in a letter to DSU faculty and staff that he wouldn't resign and the reporting efforts in enrollment were “quickly corrected with no negative consequences to the university.” Goetz's actions “came as a complete shock,” McCallum said.
“The public airing of these concerns, so close to a new academic year, is an unnecessary distraction for the university,” McCallum said.
The school announced Monday it was cancelling its “State of the University Address” scheduled for Wednesday.
Josh Askvig, president of the DSU Alumni Association board and former student member of the higher education board, was not available for comment.
Grant Shaft, higher education board president, has said McCallum should lose his job. Board member Michael Haugen, of Fargo, said he didn't want to comment until the process runs its course.
“I haven't seen a full report from the chancellor,” Haugen said. “I have read the audit and I know there were irregularities.”