Shirvani simply had to go
It simply had to happen.
Monday’s decision by the state Board of Higher Education to end the short tenure of Chancellor Hamid Shirvani was overdue, but welcome nonetheless.
The board announced its decision to buy out Shirvani at a meeting in?Medora, at least part of which was held in executive session. Terms of the buyout were not immediately announced, but there’s no way the board can keep that information secret. The chancellor position is a publicly funded job, so we expect that information to be quickly released.
It was an unceremonious end to Shirvani’s troubled year as chancellor.?He was criticized almost from the beginning, when he proposed sweeping changes to the university system that angered students and school officials alike. Shirvani’s management style was unpleasant, too, and some university officials and legislators openly and repeatedly clashed with the chancellor. Perhaps the final act that all but ensured Shirvani’s release was his orchestration of several meetings that clearly violated state open meeting laws, and the chancellor and board were reprimanded by Attorney General Wayne Stenehjem.
By the middle of his year in office, Shirvani had clearly lost the trust of many students, faculty and officials within the higher education system, not to mention members of the public. The board said Monday that Shirvani asked to be released from his contract, but let’s be realistic: The board should have fired Shirvani months ago.
Does the university system need some changes? Absolutely. Does the system need to be completely blown up as planned by Shirvani? Absolutely not.
Let’s hope the troublesome ideas put forth by Shirvani and his supporters to overhaul the entire system now fade into history, as will his short tenure as chancellor. It’s been a long and chaotic year for everyone in the university system, but with Shirvani’s release, it’s finally time to move on.