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Former North Dakota Higher Ed Administrators Remain On Payroll

Two North Dakota higher education
administrators who resigned last year under fire remained on the payroll
through June 30, doing little work but costing taxpayers more than $450,000.

Former Chancellor Robert Potts did no work while serving as
a consultant to the North Dakota University System for 11 months. He earned
$224,750 in compensation.

The Board of Higher Education and the university system
office did not ask Potts for consulting.

“From my point of view, I felt Chancellor (Eddie) Dunn
was providing all the administrative services that we needed,” board
President John Q. Paulsen said.

Sharon Hart, former president of the North Dakota State
College of Science in Wahpeton, earned nearly $150,000 in salary and benefits
in 9 1/2 months while working from home in a new position. Hart also will be
paid a lump sum of about $80,000 this week for six months’ salary and benefits,
per terms of her exit agreement.

As interim executive director of the Career and Technical
Education Council, Hart completed some of her assignments but did not complete
her goal of grant-writing, according to her employee evaluation. Hart declined

Sen. Joel Heitkamp, D-Hankinson, said he is not surprised
that Potts and Hart did not do more work.

“Everybody knew when these things happened that really
what they were were buyouts,” he said.

Hart resigned in September after faculty gave her a
no-confidence vote and the school’s Alumni Foundation gathered signatures from
462 people who supported her resignation.

Potts resigned in August because of disagreements with some
Board of Higher Education members over his authority as the system’s top

Information from: The Forum,

– Associated Press

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