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Published February 26, 2013, 01:09 PM

Shirvani Buyout Amendment Defeated in N.D. Senate by 1 Vote

The North Dakota Senate shot down an amendment to the University System budget bill today that would have given $854,520 to the State Board of Higher Education to buy out Chancellor Hamid Shirvani’s contract.

By: TJ Jerke, Forum News Service

BISMARCK -- The North Dakota Senate today shot down an amendment to the University System budget bill that would have given $854,520 to the State Board of Higher Education to buyout Chancellor Hamid Shirvani’s contract.

The amendment was defeated on a 23-24 vote.

The vote was not approved by a verification vote, so it wasn't immediately clear how each senator voted.

The amendment was to provide the funding, "in the event the state board chooses to seek a settlement agreement" with the chancellor.

The higher ed board has voiced its support of Shirvani, who became the leader of the University System in July.

Shirvani has been a controversial figure in his first year on the job, drawing criticism from some state lawmakers.

The North Dakota Student Association, with students representing each of North Dakota’s 11 public universities, on Saturday passed a “no confidence” vote in Shirvani.

On Sunday, the higher ed board issued a statement of support for Shirvani.

“The board remains in full support of the policies adopted by the board and implemented by Chancellor Shirvani,” according to the statement, issued by email.

The amendment's sponsor, Sen. Tony Grindberg, R-Fargo, said the amendment was, "about providing an environment of trust and respect."

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