Senate Approves Chancellor Buyout Money | VideoKristin Clouston | 2/27/2013
Senator Tony Grindberg of Fargo was the first to introduce the amendment. He says he wasn`t surprised it was brought back.
"Typically, this time of session, it`s not uncommon," says Grindberg. "But in certain times, in various sessions, it`s pretty frequent you know. It`s typically more on issues that are of significance and budget bills. It`s not uncommon."
In this case, we`re talking about providing money to buy out an $854,000 contract.
"The way the amendment is written there are no constitutional issues," adds Grindberg. "It does not attempt to control the board. It just sends a message that this provides an additional tool given the environment that is presently going on."
Those opposed to the bill say they agree the message is clear, and they don`t like it.
"Its purpose, I think, is to send a message and we`re going back to the old style where any time our college president is upset with the chancellor, we do an end run around him and try to see if we can get rid of the chancellor, and we really do violence to our system," said Sen. John Andrist of Crosby.
The Board of Higher Education released this statement:
"We believe that Chancellor Shirvani is a man of vision and is working hard to tackle the many issues that have challenged us over the years. In carrying out the Board`s agenda, he has earned and fully deserves our gratitude and continued support."
The bill will now go on to the House. Even if it passes, the board is not required to act on it.
The board says it`s aware there are concerns but no one has come forth to talk about it. Shirvani has responded to the criticisms in the past but declined an interview this time.