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St. Cloud State files for dismissal of lawsuit over enrollment plan failures

  • Associated Press
  • February 26, 2014 - 10:25 AM

ST. CLOUD, Minn. — St. Cloud State University has asked a federal judge to dismiss a lawsuit filed by a former administrator in charge of enrollment management.

Mahmoud Saffari sued the university and President Earl Potter III alleging his civil rights were violated when he was fired in 2011. The university said Saffari was terminated for failing to produce a management plan that would have better predicted enrollment numbers, according to court documents.

The university claimed it was forced to make a $1 million budget adjustment because it relied on Saffari's faulty enrollment forecasts in the 2011-2012 academic year. Enrollment declined by about 1,000 students in the fall of 2011, the St. Cloud Times (http://on.sctimes.com/1o5yL02 ) reported.

The dismissal motion said Potter asked for an enrollment management plan that would include "detailed, sophisticated statistical analysis of enrollment trends for different demographics of students and strategies for exploiting the trends for increased enrollment."

By spring of 2011, Saffari had spent two years working on an enrollment plan, hadn't yet submitted it to Potter, but he provided enrollment forecasts based largely on the size of recent incoming classes, according to the court filing.

Potter held Saffari responsible for failing to tell the administration the steep decline was coming, the motion said.

A hearing on the motion for dismissal is scheduled April 11.

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