Bombshell Accusation Dropped on Shirvani - KXNet.com - Bismarck/Minot/Williston/Dickinson-KXNEWS,ND

Bombshell Accusation Dropped on Shirvani

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Legislators tackling higher ed issues get a bombshell accusation laid on them regarding Chancellor Ham Shirvani.

Lawmakers are put in the middle of more controversy regarding Higher Education.

Today, a University System employee came forward and told lawmakers she believes they were provided fraudulent information.

And as Donnell Preskey reports, the employee blames Chancellor Hamid Shirvani.

(Linda Porter / ND University System Employee) "I was told to provide the data to make the institutions look bad."

Linda Porter says fraudulent activities have been committed in her office and it centers around graduation rate data Dr. Ham Shirvani gave to legislators.

(Rep. Clark Williams: "Why they want UND and NDSU to look bad?"

Porter: "In my opinion?"

Clark: "I'm asking for it."

Porter: "It would strengthen Dr. Shirvanni's position and give him more power over the presidents. Not to serve students, not to create better systems but to control the activities of the universities."

She says she was asked to alter her data and she refused, but the data was altered late Tuesday night and presented to legislators.

Chancellor Ham Shirvani says there is nothing to the accusations.

Shirvani: "Disturbing to me"

Shirvani says he is "fed up" with the relentless, calculated attacks..

Shirvanni: "All numbers are correct, extremely sensationalized."

He says he didn't manipulate any data. He just chose not to use the numbers comparing North Dakota Universities to similar schools in the region.

Instead he says he sees more value in using a national average and comparing the graduation rates of North Dakota schools with universities regarded at a higher level.

Shirvani: "It was not to put down an institution or to say we are bad. It was saying this is where we are and what I like to do as a chancellor is take us to those higher horizons."

But Porter sees this differently, which is why she is here. She says she was willing to risk her job to come forward with what she believes is fraudulent activity.

Shirvani: "We want to run an efficient organization but there is no retaliation or intimidation what so ever."

While the issue was brought to legislators attention, this matter is out of their hands.

Linda says she has filed a fraud complaint with the state.

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