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Higher Learning Commission to meet with ND Board of Higher Ed

The Chicago-based Higher Learning Commission plans to meet with the Board of Higher Education and North Dakota University presidents next month.

This – after a complaint was filed with the Commission by former Valley City State University president Ellen Chaffee. Her complaint said there was a lack of communication between the Presidents and the Board. And the Commission’s letter to the Board says the meeting will deal with “governance issues.”

New Board president Kirsten Diedrich says she’s concerned about the meeting – but also sees it as an opportunity.

"This is giving us an opportunity for the Board to say, we might need to make some changes," said Diedrich. "We can only learn from it."

Since the complaint was filed – then-Chancellor Ham Shirvani resigned. And some in higher education weren’t happy with Shirvani’s requirement that they go through his office before taking concerns to board members. The Board has a new president, and there is an acting Chancellor in place.

"I'm not sure it was just leadership," said Diedrich. "The full Board was having issues. There's no blame anywhere -- we just got into trouble this past year."

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