North Dakota university chancellor denies harassment claims

BISMARCK, N.D. (AP) — The chancellor of the North Dakota University System is denying allegations of discrimination and harassment by a former vice chancellor.

Chancellor Mark Hagerott tells The Associated Press that he “strongly disagrees” with the complaint filed this month by Lisa Feldner. Hagerott says the allegations are a “distraction” from the business of education.

State Board of Higher Education Chairman Don Morton says he also “strongly disagrees” with Feldner’s accusations.

Hagerott fired Feldner in September but gave no reason.

Feldner’s 17-page complaint to the state Labor Department details several allegations against her former boss that she said created a hostile work environment.

Feldner says several women complained about Hagerott touching them, but not in a sexual manner. Feldner accuses him of patting women like “children or pets” in a “condescending” manner.