SBHE Board committee rejects idea of Board members becoming involved with Presidential Evaluations

Dec 15, 2017

SBHE Governance Committee meeting 12/14/17.
Credit Dave Thompson / Prairie Public

The Chancellor of the North Dakota University System floated an idea to get state Board of Higher Education members more involved in the evaluation of the college presidents.

That’s normally been the Chancellor’s job.

Chancellor Mark Hagerott told the Board’s Governance Committee – the evaluations are now going to be done in tiers, starting with the two year schools. Hagerott suggested Board members be assigned to one of the tiers – two year schools, four-year schools and the research universities. He said getting more Board involvement is not a new idea.

"I said that two years ago," Hagerott said. "You (the board) hire and fire presidents."

But the committee members weren’t warm to that idea. They said it would be a lot of work for a volunteer board, since many board members have other jobs.

"I don't think volunteers can do that, if they have regular jobs," said Board member Mike Ness of Hazen. He's a retired school superintendent.

"Would it work for me? Probably," Ness said. "Could I spend the time on it? I probably could. But you don't want all retired people doing this, either."

Board member Kathy Neset said she worries about consistency in evaluating the Presidents.

"What the danger of doing this could be, you may evaluate one way, and me another," Neset said. "How are we being fair to these presidents?"

The committee did not endorse the idea. Hagerott said he only floated the idea to have a discussion.