Andrew Haffner covers higher education and general assignment stories for the Grand Forks Herald. He attended the University of Wisconsin in Madison, where he studied journalism, political science and international studies. He previously worked at the Dickinson Press.
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GRAND FORKS, N.D.—The problems in Mark Hagerott's office began early on, according to the official who once worked as his right-hand employee. Hagerott is the chancellor of the North Dakota University System, an office that sits atop the 11 colleges and universities that make up the state landscape of public higher education. Until September, he oversaw that system with the help of Lisa Feldner, a longtime public sector employee hired as a vice chancellor by Hagerott's predecessor.
A former leader of the North Dakota University System has signed off on an official allegation that her September termination was a retaliatory action by the system chancellor. Lisa Feldner, a vice chancellor who also served as chief of staff to NDUS Chancellor Mark Hagerott, signed on Dec. 19 an official complaint prepared by the state Department of Labor and Human Rights to further her charge that Hagerott had unjustly fired her for reporting what she "believed to be violations of rule, policy, and/or law by Chancellor Hagerott."
BISMARCK — A former vice chancellor has supported allegations that North Dakota higher ed leader Mark Hagerott created a hostile workplace for staff, though his office showed relatively little turnover during a period of major cuts.
BISMARCK—A labor complaint made against North Dakota University System Chancellor Mark Hagerott is set to be investigated by a federal agency.
GRAND FORKS — Leaders of the North Dakota Board of Higher Education opened a Wednesday, Dec. 6, press release with quotes about truth to reinforce their stance on accusations made against the top executive of the state university system. "The truth is rarely pure and never simple," board Chair Don Morton and Vice Chair Greg Stemen wrote, drawing from playwright Oscar Wilde before introducing a joint statement of support for due process and system office staff.
BISMARCK—After initially making no official plans to do so, the governing board of the North Dakota University System will be discussing in its meeting Thursday, Nov. 30, the allegations of discrimination made by a former system leader against NDUS Chancellor Mark Hagerott.
GRAND FORKS — A recent survey of North Dakota University System employees suggests office climate has improved from the contentious mood captured in a 2016 study released earlier this fall — even as a system leader fired in September has begun the process of filing a retaliation complaint. "There's definitely been a culture improvement," said Don Morton, chair of the State Board of Higher Education, which oversees the system. "I think there's more confidence in leadership now."
PORTAL, N.D.—A pair of of nationally known musicians were arrested on marijuana offenses earlier this year after their tour buses were stopped at the Canadian border crossing in Portal, N.D., and are facing court appearances in coming days. Grammy Award-winner Melissa Etheridge and rock musician Todd Rundgren were both stopped at the border on separate occasions while returning to the U.S. from engagements in Canada.
The University of North Dakota's total fall enrollment sits at one of its lowest points so far this decade, but a university admissions leader says there's more to the number than meets the eye.
GRAND FORKS, N.D. — Disruption is in the air for the entrepreneurs of UND. The university is coming near to launching its search for a new leader — or leaders — to head up its startup-minded University of North Dakota Center for Innovation and its academic School of Entrepreneurship. Such leaders would likely take the helm in a transitional period for both organizations.