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Search for new university system chancellor begins

FARGO -- The search for a new chancellor of the North Dakota University System will get under way this week.

Members of the state Board of Higher Education expect to name a search committee and search consultant at a meeting Thursday in Dickinson.

Chancellor Bill Goetz announced in June he plans to retire Aug. 31, 2012, after completing his fifth year leading the 11 colleges and universities.

Board President Grant Shaft said the goal is for the committee to wrap up its work early next year.

The best-case scenario would be for a new chancellor to begin early next summer and work with Goetz for a few months to assist with the budgeting process and prepare for the next legislative session, Shaft said.

"The view is the more time they have on the job, the better," Shaft said.

A salary for the new chancellor has not been determined.

Goetz earns $220,132 this year, as well as a $20,000 housing and hosting allowance and an $11,000 vehicle allowance.

Presidents of North Dakota State University and the University of North Dakota earn $312,000 and $330,158, respectively.

Shaft said board members recognize they may need to increase the chancellor's pay, depending on who they end up hiring.

The current salary range the board has adopted for the chancellor position is $211,201 to $350,000.

One factor that may affect the pay is whether the next chancellor has a doctorate.

Goetz's highest degree is a master's. When he was hired, board members said his experience at Dickinson State University, in the Legislature and in the governor's office was more important than a doctorate.

The search committee will be "a diverse group representing all of the state," Shaft said, including board members, campus presidents, students, staff, faculty and the business community.

Shaft anticipates the strong economic position of the state and university system will make the position attractive.

"Most chancellors in most systems across the country, the only thing they're able to do right now is look at dramatic cuts to budgets," he said.

Amy Dalrymple is a reporter at The Forum of Fargo-Moorhead, which is owned by Forum Communications Co.