Ethics institute to hold forum on bill aimed at overhauling tenure in North Dakota higher education

The Northern Plains Ethics Institute hosts a public forum Thursday, Feb. 2 on a bill to change tenure process at two higher education institutions in the state.

guy in a dark suit, blue tie and glasses, smiling
North Dakota House Majority Leader Mike Lefor, R-Dickinson

BISMARCK — The Northern Plains Ethics Institute, or NPEI, will host a virtual public forum this week about a North Dakota bill aimed at overhauling the tenure process at two higher education institutions in the state.

House Majority Leader Mike Lefor, R-Dickinson, will present “Reimagining Tenure in Higher Education: HB 1446” on Thursday, Feb. 2, from 11:45 a.m. to 12:45 p.m. via Zoom.

Tim Flakoll, provost of Tri-College University and NPEI Advisory Board chair, will serve as host and moderator.

Lefor introduced House Bill 1446 in mid-January, seeking to create a pilot program using campus models at Bismarck State College and Dickinson State University to improve the tenure process.

He said he originally wanted the changes to occur system-wide, but instead opted for a limited implementation as a trial run.


Under the bill, tenured faculty would be evaluated on ability to generate tuition or grant revenue, adherence to policies and procedures, and effectiveness in teaching and advising students.

The bill received backlash from the academic community, in part over potential infringement of academic freedom and the legal rights of tenured faculty.

During the forum, Lefor will discuss amendments he will propose to the committee hearing the bill on Friday. He will answer questions from the audience afterward.

The presentation is open to the public and can be accessed at

Huebner is a 35+ year veteran of broadcast and print journalism in Fargo-Moorhead.
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