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Higher ed board members talk chancellor's contract terms

BISMARCK -- The State Board of Higher Education will name an interim chancellor when it meets today, but a salary will be negotiated later.

The board will then vote to fill the chancellor's role with either Shane Goettle, a former state commerce commissioner, or Larry Skogen, current acting chancellor and president of Bismarck State College.

Board President Kirsten Diederich and Vice President Terry Hjelmstad met Tuesday to go over the terms of the chancellor's contract that will be approved by the full board during its regular monthly meeting today.

If Skogen is selected, the state board will ask him for a recommendation for an interim president at Bismarck State. There would be a Nov. 1 deadline to appoint an interim president and have Skogen begin the full-time chancellor position.

If Goettle is chosen, he will begin Oct. 9.

The chancellor will have to develop goals to be approved by the state board during its regular November meeting. The chancellor's performance and goals will then be reviewed by the state board quarterly.

The salary will be negotiated between the chancellor, Diederich and Hjelmstad.

Skogen currently makes $184,000 in salary plus benefits, totaling about $230,000.

If selected, Skogen will be able to take back his president role after June 30, 2015, with his former salary and a negotiated increase. Skogen already has said he wants to retain his presidency.

Diederich said the board still has to get through a visit by the Higher Learning Commission, a Chicago-based independent accreditation corporation.

The commission will be in North Dakota this fall to follow up on a complaint filed in April by former Valley City State University President Ellen Chaffee about the governance of the University System.

No date has been set for the visit.

The commission will evaluate the University System and state board's relationship with the 11 colleges the board oversees and the commission accredits.

Mike Nowatzki

Mike Nowatzki reports for Forum News Service. He can be reached at (701) 255-5607.