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Dickinson mayor, others unknowingly enrolled at DSU

Suspended president of Dickinson State University Richard McCallum testifies at a hearing Friday afternoon in Bismarck. He requested the hearing to challenge his dismissal from the university.

BISMARCK -- Dickinson Mayor Dennis Johnson and his wife were among hundreds incorrectly enrolled at Dickinson State University in 2010, officials said during a hearing in Bismarck on Friday.

The hearing began Wednesday at the request of Richard McCallum, who is trying to prove he was inappropriately suspended as DSU president for allegedly inflating enrollment.

He called accusations against him insulting and impossible.

DSU faculty, residents of Hawks Point retirement community and Belfield High School students were among the 213 incorrectly enrolled, said Scott Staudinger, DSU co-

ordinator of Institutional Research and Planning.

John Brudvig, vice president of academic affairs, was enrolled as a freshman and withdrawn shortly after.

"It would imply that he was enrolled just for enhancing our enrollment prior to the census date and as soon as soon as that information was pulled he was withdrawn from the course," Staudinger said.

He added several facets of DSU staff are involved in enrollment and many would have had to have been involved in padding enrollment


"No one individual at Dickinson State can possibly do this by themselves," Staudinger said. "It has to be numerous departments all working together to make this happen."

However, he does not know of any information that could prove multiple departments worked together to inflate enrollment.

McCallum, who is accused of directing faculty and staff to falsify enrollment, said he didn't know enrollment was being inflated, but moved quickly to fix the problem once he learned about it.

"It's almost impossible not to know that's going on underneath of you," Staudinger said.

McCallum said he has no part in the enrollment process and thought issues had been resolved until the chancellor of North Dakota's University System raised questions later. He added he doesn't have access to databases holding enrollment information.

"It involves four different levels below me in terms of the process," McCallum said. "The suggestions that have been made that I did this in the dark of night is impossible ..."

It is unclear why he or DSU staff would want falsify enrollment.

NDUS Chancellor William Goetz originally asked McCallum to resign because of the accusations.

However, McCallum said he refused to resign because he did nothing wrong.

Goetz then gave McCallum a notice to dismiss him. Goetz stated in the letter to dismiss McCallum's failure to contact Goetz after he asked McCallum to resign constituted insubordination.

"If by his definition of insubordination means that I did not return that phone call, than I except his definition," McCallum said.

However, McCallum said he is offended by the accusation and dismissal.

"I felt it was extremely harsh and I also had the intuition it was legally unsound," he said. "There's not an insubordinate bone in my body. I take this as a great insult."

McCallum has been suspended from his job with pay since August.

He is allowed to reside in DSU's president's house, but said he left Dickinson because he felt like a virtual prisoner on campus.

Numerous calls by the Press to McCallum since his dismissal have not been returned.

After the hearing, Johnson said he didn't have an opinion on the matter and is not concerned over being enrolled without his consent or knowledge.

"I'm just kind of saddened by the whole situation," Johnson said.

At the hearing, he also testified via conference call that he and other city officials had a good relationship with McCallum.

The hearing which is held at the Office of Administrative Hearings, was expected to conclude Friday, but will resume on Wednesday.

The Associated Press contributed to this story.