NDUS Chancellor speaks out on discrimination accusations

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MINOT, N.D. – The head of the state’s university system defended himself against recent discrimination accusations Tuesday while visiting Minot State University.

NDUS Chancellor Mark Hagerott spoke at MSU to push an educational initiative called "Envision 2030."

Former Vice Chancellor Lisa Feldner, one of Hagerott’s former subordinates, had submitted a lengthy complaint to the state Labor Department, detailing accusations against Hagerott of discriminating against employees and creating a hostile work environment.

Hagerott fired Feldner in September but did not offer reason for her dismissal.

Feldner said her firing was an act of retaliation by Hagerott.

Hagerott briefly spoke to KMOT, where he denied the accusations.

“That's now in a legal process, but as the State Board Chair says, ''strongly disagree with the events and completely reject claims of sexual harassment.' I've been a public servant for 37 and never have I had such statements. But that's for the legal process to work its way through,” said Hagerott.

Hagerott also told the Associated Press that he "strongly disagrees with the accusations and that they are a "distraction" from his role in the state's higher education.