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SBHE committee still working on contract language for new college presidents

As the Board of Higher Education prepares to hire new presidents at UND, Bismarck State College and Dickinson State University, a board committee is wrestling with new language for a president’s initial contract.

The Board’s Governance Committee looked at a new contract draft, after some were concerned that the initial proposal had a lot of “sticks,” but not a lot of “carrots.”

"I think there's been a well-intentioned attempt to provide some 'carrots' with the 'sticks,'" said NDSU President Dean Bresciani. "But I don't know that, as framed currently, they're attractive carrots."

Bresciani also said one of the proposed “carrots” – that is, new presidents could receive up to a 25 percent bonus for meeting or exceeding set goals – is, in his experience, “extraordinary.”

"I think you are probably going to get a lot of questions about that and how you qualify for it," Bresciani said. "Given the egos, if you will, of most presidential candidates, I suspect most of them are going to assume they're going to get that 25 percent. There's also a downstream problem in explaining why they didn't get the 25 percent.

Committee member Nick Hacker moved to reduce that number to 15 percent – but that failed for a lack of a second.

The Board’s legal counsel will be working on some suggested changes – and the proposed initial contract could be on the agenda for Thursday’s special board meeting.

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