North Dakota Board of Higher Education
June 3, 2013 Executive Session TranscriptShaft: So, as President Espegard indicated, we have all of the Board members present. In goinginto executive session, we indicated that the president of the Board has received,essentially, two proposals. One is a proposal to enter into an employment agreement withChancellor Shirvani that would essentially continue his current contract for the remainingtwo-year period, subject to more formalizing language that isn’t contained in the currentcontract, especially concerning terms of departure that became necessary. The second is aseparation agreement option that was presented by Dr. Shirvani. As I understand, withinthat option, there are terms of buyout, along with some additional payments. Iunderstand, per my direction, that you have been in contact with Dr. Shirvani's counsel atDorsey Whitney, and through that process, you have entered into negotiations that will present options for this Board concerning the separation agreement that we can consider.Is that your understanding?- - - (attorney consultation with Sara McGrane) - - -Espegard: Grant, would you go over the four options, then? You can start with number one,which seems terribly unfair.Shaft: So I’ll start out with—first, is everybody clear with the employment agreement option?Okay, then we can set that aside for now. With regard to the buyout options, the broadestoption was: he gets paid out under his contract, but he would, right now, if he gets a new job, he gets paid no matter what, whether he’s employed or not. Then he had someadditional options which included moving expenses, some damages for reputation, and a provision that provided for a tenured position at UND and NDSU. That was the broadest.As Sara indicated, that really wasn’t acceptable. What it boils down to is one acceptableoption to them and one unacceptable option for them. The acceptable option was,essentially, he gets paid under his contract, and he gets paid no matter what. Period.Everybody fully releases each other; he doesn’t get any a la carte. The other option is justthe difference that he doesn’t get paid no matter what; he gets paid only until he gets a job, and then the only payments we would owe him is if his new salary is less than whatit is currently, so if it is a hundred grand less, he gets a hundred grand. And that’s thedifference. They’ve indicated it is not acceptable, and what we don’t know is if that is posturing or not. I will tell you that they capitulated quickly on most of the other items, but they did draw the line in the sand on this item, and they have drawn the line in thesand on this item for a while, now. Our attorney’s recommendation is option two, and that just says we pay him, good luck; if you get a job, good for you, it was a good day atthe office; if you don’t, you’re covered because we’re paying out your contract.Espegard: It does include salary increases.Shaft: It’s the same payment that you would get if he was continually with us.Espegard: At maximum, four and three.