Hamid Shirvani, the controversial former chancellor of the North Dakota University System, has resigned as president of Briar Cliff College in Sioux City, Iowa, according to a press release from the school.
“This has not been an easy decision for me to make, and is a result of a combination of family, personal and professional considerations,” Shirvani said in the release. “I have enjoyed working with the campus community, particularly with the faculty who represent the core of the university.”
The release said Shirvani will continue to work on special projects under the direction of the Board of Trustees through the end of fall semester. He was Briar Cliff’s president for 14 months.
A Sioux City media report in May said Shirvani was investigated for sexual harassment, but the college’s board of trustees dismissed the report saying it “in accurately and inappropriately cast a cloud over his leadership.”
Shirvani was the leader of the NDUS from 2012-13, a tenure marked by conflict and controversy. University presidents, former presidents, many legislators, students and much of the state’s media believed Shrivani to be heavy-handed and vindictive. His supporters say his style was needed to fix the “dysfunction” in the higher ed system.
When he left, Shirvani was given a nearly $1 million buyout.
Shirvani came to North Dakota with a history of controversy and adversarial relationships at the higher education institutions at which he worked. He left from the University of Colorado at Denver in 1990 “under duress” after half the department faculty left because of his management style. He was given a vote of no confidence at Cal State Stanislaus because faculty cited hostile working relationships and lack of shared governance. The school also paid a former administrative assistant $10,000 and six months paid lead to settle a claim for “events that took place.”