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NDUS worried about proposed Higher Ed board

TIOGA, N.D. (AP) -- A North Dakota University System official says a proposed new governing body for higher education could put the system's accreditation at risk.

North Dakotans will vote in November on replacing the current eight-member, part-time Board of Higher Education with a three-member, full-time commission.

University System Ethics Officer Murray Sagsveen says the accrediting Higher Learning Commission has concerns about the proposal, and might not have ample time to review the new structure should it be approved. He says the state's 11 public colleges and universities would risk losing accreditation.

Proponents of a permanent commission say it would provide a clear chain of command between higher ed's governing board and university presidents. Opponents believe it wouldn't have autonomy from the Legislature. Sagsveen says that's one of the concerns of the HLC.