Outgoing NDSU President Dean Bresciani, measured by his job performance as the leader of an academic institution, was not good at his job. That's why his contract wasn't renewed by the state Board of Higher Education. Yet he's widely seen as a successful president because of the success of NDSU's football team during his tenure, a reflection of the same cruddy priorities that lead the NDSU Foundation to raise 10 times more for athletic scholarships than they did for math/science scholarships.
At best, we have a university president who leaned a bit too heavily on some personal relationships while supervising a sloppy procurement. At worst, we have a significant contract that was deliberately steered toward some friends of the president. Even worse, when asked to provide oversight, the NDUS issued some superficial findings completely out of step with just how serious a matter this was.
It took board members nearly an hour and a half of discussion at the SBHE’s meeting on Thursday, Oct. 29, to approve the measure, with two of the board’s eight members voting against it. Presidents and senior administrators of state universities and colleges appeared united in asking for the measure to be passed, as they face the possibility of losing out on millions of dollars of federal contracts should some employees not get vaccinated.
"If you had not wrote about it, we probably would not have learned about the proposed policy," Christopher Dodson, general counsel for the North Dakota Catholic Conference, told me. "A number of students and interested persons missed the official deadline for comments, which ended Friday."
The North Dakota State Board of Higher Education could issue a mask requirement for North Dakota’s 11 public colleges and universities, however the board left decisions on masks last year to officials at each institution, and a localized approach is the most likely outcome this time around, university system spokeswoman Billie Jo Lorius said.