The state Board of Higher Education will consider the option of granting tenure to college presidents.
The matter will be discussed at the Board meeting Thursday.
Chancellor Mark Hagerott brought up the proposal at a governance committee meeting.
"Because of these budget cuts, we've given no pay raises to the presidents for several years, and I don't see one coming, there are some non-monetary things we can do," Hagerott told the Committee.
The proposal would allow tenure to be granted if the campus president had a tenured faculty position before being appointed. This would include positions held in-state and out of state.
Hagerott said other states do this.
Minot State University president Steve Shirley said while he appreciates that, he has a concern.
"This creates kind of two-class system within our presidents," Shirley told the committee. "I worry about the precedent that sets up, and the ramifications of that."
Shirley said his previous job was another presidency -- at Valley City State University -- and before that was a vice-presidency in South Dakota.
"Those are not tenured-type positions," Shirley said.
But NDSU President Dean Bresciani has a different view.
"In my experience, at most public universities across the nation, presidents are -- as a part of being hired -- offered tenure, if they don't have it," Bresciani said.
Hagerott said offering tenure would be a good way to attract good candidates.