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NDSU president resigns amid furor over spending

FARGO - North Dakota State University President Joseph Chapman has resigned from the university effective Jan. 2.

Citing "recent controversies," in a letter to North Dakota University System Chancellor William Goetz, Chapman wrote that he could no longer provide the leadership the university deserved.

"Controversies in recent days have created distractions that have made it impossible for me to provide the leadership this institution deserves," Chapman wrote in his resignation letter. "Students have always been paramount, and I fear these distractions have impaired my ability to serve their interests."

Chapman, who has been NDSU's president for 11 years, said serving as NDSU's president was the "greatest privilege of my academic career."

State legislative leaders and higher education officials have questioned the rising cost of a president's home that was built this past year on the NDSU campus. Originally authorized by the state Legislature to spend $900,000 to build a new home for Chapman on the university campus, NDSU foundation officials have revealed recently that the cost of the house has topped $2 million.

Questions also have arisen regarding the cost overruns at other recently completed NDSU building projects.

Also, in recent days, Chapman's compensation and benefits have come under fire. The NDSU foundation announced that it was ending the practice of paying the president deferred compensation, setting a cap on a presidential discretionary expense account that previously had been unlimited and ended paying for flights Chapman would take on the university plane.