ND state senator says focus on cyber hurt chancellor’s reputation in Legislature

GRAND FORKS — North Dakota legislators “scramble” to avoid university system Chancellor Mark Hagerott, Sen. Ray Holmberg, R-Grand Forks, said Tuesday, Nov. 28.

Holmberg was speaking to allegations made more than a week earlier by Lisa Feldner, a former vice chancellor of the university system fired by Hagerott earlier this fall.

Feldner, who also served as Hagerott’s chief of staff, filed documents with the North Dakota Department of Labor on Nov. 17 alleging that Hagerott had created a hostile work environment through discriminatory practices in the North Dakota University System office. Among claims that the chancellor discriminated along the lines of gender, health, age and otherwise, Feldner also wrote that he had damaged his reputation with legislators by focusing excessively on his interests in cybersecurity and a program of his own design called NexusND, a broad technology initiative planned to include a focus on cyber, along with unmanned systems and big data.