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Published March 02, 2012, 12:36 PM

Proposals would replace ND higher education board

BISMARCK, N.D. (AP) — Two proposals would replace North Dakota's Board of Higher Education.

BISMARCK, N.D. (AP) — Two proposals would replace North Dakota's Board of Higher Education.

The Legislature's Higher Education Committee is hearing arguments about the ideas Friday.

One proposal is an initiative that is being drafted to put on North Dakota's statewide ballot.

It would abolish the Board of Higher Education and put an elected commissioner in charge of North Dakota's public colleges. The commissioner would be able to hire and fire university presidents.

Sean Johnson of Bismarck says the current board isn't accountable to North Dakota voters.

Another proposal would let the governor appoint a higher education director and a separate advisory board. House Republican majority leader Al Carlson floated a similar idea during the Legislature last year. It was defeated.

The committee hasn't taken action on either proposal.

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