Former California State University, Stanislaus President Hamid Shirvani may soon be ousted from his position as Chancellor of the North Dakota University System.
According to a report from the Grand Forks (N.D.) Herald, a North Dakota State Senator is attempting to buy out the remainder of Shirvani's contract, citing “questionable leadership and mistrust.”
“In my opinion, Chancellor Shirvani's leadership style is in serious question and his methods of campus communication have created an environment of fear and retaliation,” Sen. Tony Grindberg (R-Fargo) told the Grand Forks Herald. “In my 20 years of legislative service, I have never experienced such strong widespread opinions of questionable leadership and mistrust.”
The buyout would cost approximately $600,000, according to the Herald.
TurlockCityNews.com has also been contacted directly by NDUS employees, who spoke of ongoing struggles in dealing with Shirvani. The NDUS employees asked not to be named or directly quoted.
Shirvani has led the NDUS system since July 1, 2012. He was selected as chancellor at the end of a three-month search process, besting 21 other candidates.
But questions about Shirvani's leadership style have dogged the former CSU Stanislaus President since well before his days in Turlock.
Shirvani has been engaged in near-constant strife with faculty members across many different universities since, at least, as early as May 1990. At that time, Shirvani was forced to resign from a position as Dean of the University of Colorado, Denver School of Architecture and Planning.
The resignation came “under duress,” according to a National Architectural Accrediting Board report cited in a 1991 Denver Post article. The article goes on to state that Shirvani's actions led to an “adversarial relationship” with faculty, leading to the exodus of nearly half of the program's faculty members in just three years of leadership.
The UCD architecture master's degree program's accreditation was ultimately put on probation due to the turmoil.
A similar fate befell CSU Stanislaus a decade later. The Western Association of Schools and Colleges required a follow-up visit as part of a 2011 accreditation review due to “long-simmering tensions between faculty and the senior administration.”
A November 2009 vote by CSU Stanislaus faculty found that 90 percent had no confidence in Shirvani, and 91 percent had no confidence in his leadership. Hostile working relationships and a lack of shared governance were cited as the biggest problems.
The Grand Forks Herald report is available at: http://www.grandforksherald.com/event/article/id/255794/publisher_ID/40/.