Fargo state senator applies for state higher ed chancellor
BISMARCK -- State Sen. Tim Flakoll, R-Fargo, has again thrown his name in for state chancellor of higher education. The North Dakota University System released 20 applications and a 21st name, of an Ohio State professor, on Friday. On Thursday, t...
BISMARCK - State Sen. Tim Flakoll, R-Fargo, has again thrown his name in for state chancellor of higher education.
The North Dakota University System released 20 applications and a 21st name, of an Ohio State professor, on Friday. On Thursday, the system released names of the first 19 applicants, including former Chancellor Robert Potts.
The provost of Tri-College University, Flakoll also applied in 2012 and advanced to the final round of interviews with three other candidates. Ultimately, the Board of Higher Education chose Hamid Shirvani, who was bought out a year later.
Knowing that history is one of Flakoll’s strengths, he said.
“In approximately the past 12 years, they’ve had seven chancellors or interim chancellors, and I think that has really not been an ideal situation, that revolving door,” he said. “I think one of the major things I can bring to it is not just someone who can move their agenda forward and their vision forward and their strategic plan forward, but someone who can have longevity.”
Flakoll, a 17-year state legislator who acts as chairman of the Senate Education Committee, also highlighted his work as a lawmaker.
“I’ve worked with many of the people that they need to successfully work with,” he said. “I’ve been involved in every piece of education legislation that’s on the books now.”
Flakoll turned in his application two days after the Tuesday deadline, but NDUS spokeswoman Billie Jo Lorius said in an email that board members have discretion to consider any applications they receive. That ensures they are hiring “the most qualified person to fulfill the job duties.”
In his application, Potts, too, said he’d work to return stability to the system office and chancellor position.
The former chancellor, who was pushed to resign after just two years of his three-year contract, did not plan to reapply, he wrote in his cover letter. After receiving nominations and a call from the board’s search consultant, though, he reconsidered.
Potts acknowledged he did not finish his contract with the system, “but during the time I was there, I worked harmoniously with the SBHE and other groups until I faced a problem I was not able to solve with integrity and therefore resigned,” he wrote.
When Potts resigned in 2006, he said he was not being permitted to equally enforce his authority on all campuses - especially North Dakota State University under President Joseph Chapman. Some said at the time that the board asked him to resign so Chapman would stay.
Since then, Potts has been the chancellor of Arkansas State University and now lives in his home state of Alabama. He did not respond to phone messages requesting comment.
Flakoll said he preferred not to comment on Potts’ decision to apply, but he was happy with the turnout.
The board will meet with search consultant James McCormick on Thursday to discuss the applicants.
The first round of interviews is on April 14.