Leadership & Governance

Dickinson State U. President Is Fired in Wake of Enrollment Errors

Dickinson State U.

Richard J. McCallum
August 08, 2011

Richard J. McCallum, the embattled president of Dickinson State University, has been told he will be fired, according to the office of the chancellor of the North Dakota University System.

Mr. McCallum will appeal the decision, according to his lawyer.

A letter from William G. Goetz, the system's chancellor, was sent to Mr. McCallum on Friday. It gave notice of the system's intent to dismiss the president, effective five days later. The letter informed Mr. McCallum that he was immediately suspended, relieved of all duties, and barred from entering any campus building, except the president's home, pending "final action" later this week.

An internal audit by the university system that was made public last week blamed Mr. McCallum for inflated enrollment numbers, which were posted not only in university documents but also in official reports to the U.S. Department of Education. Both the audit's findings and Mr. McCallum's failure to communicate with Mr. Goetz on the matter since last Wednesday were cited as grounds for his dismissal.

Mr. McCallum reportedly has turned in various personal items, including his laptop, keys, cellphone, and business credit card. He has until Thursday to file his appeal.

Benjamin E. Thomas, Mr. McCallum's lawyer, said in an e-mail that the audit "contains no basis for seeking the resignation, let alone the termination, of Dr. McCallum."