House Measure Allows Voters to Decide Future of Higher Ed - KXNet.com - Bismarck/Minot/Williston/Dickinson-KXNEWS,ND

House Measure Allows Voters to Decide Future of Higher Ed

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Bismarck, ND -

The House has decided North Dakota voters should weigh in on what to do with the Chancellor of Higher Education position.

Representatives passed a resolution to allow voters to decide if the head of Higher Education should be appointed.

If the measure passes the senate it will go on the 2014 general election ballot.

Currently the Chancellor is selected by an eight member board.

Under the house resolution, there would no longer be a board of higher education, the Governor would appoint a Director and the Director would hire and fire university and college Presidents.

Supporters say it creates a chain of command in the University system.

Some lawmakers don't believe this is the right measure even despite the conflict between legislators and Higher Education.

"We need a chancellor who has authority and we need him to be able to do things that may not be politically popular. And if you subject that chancellors job to a political position, I believe it's a grave mistake," says Representative Bob Skarphol of Tioga.

Majority leader Al Carlson sponsored the bill, he says, "this isn't to belittle the board but it is way beyond 8 volunteers to be able to run this $3 billion enterprise. We need to have this bill passed and sent to the people."

The House defeated a similar resolution to allow voters to elect a Director of Higher Ed.

The Education committee did not support the idea because legislators questioned if the most qualified would run for a political office.

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