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North Dakota State President calls for second look at security position

FARGO - North Dakota State University President Joseph Chapman on Friday directed the head of campus safety to assess the position that's been regarded as Chapman's "bodyguard."

Chapman, who since this fall has had an armed NDSU police captain occasionally accompany him to games and other high-profile events, wrote a letter Friday after the position came under scrutiny.

"There is a misperception that this position was created to provide the NDSU president with a bodyguard, and so I am directing you to assess the position," Chapman wrote to Ray Boyer, director of University Police and Safety.

The Forum reported Monday about the new position held by Capt. Scott Magnuson. Since then, many people commenting on criticized the need for it.

Sixty percent of Magnuson's job is to be a liaison between NDSU police and administrators. His office is in Old Main, one floor above Chapman's office.

Magnuson attends all home football games, some home basketball games and other high-profile events, occasionally driving Chapman.

Boyer said calling Magnuson a "bodyguard" is misleading and does not represent the duties he has.

Magnuson is a link between police and administration, which is particularly important when managing crisis response, Boyer said.

Magnuson also has duties related to the expansion of security for NDSU's downtown campus.

Boyer said he will take at least three weeks to assess the position and make a recommendation to Chapman.

The evaluation will include researching on a national basis what other campuses have done for emergency response since the Virginia Tech massacre.

"In order for us to move forward and move away from the bodyguard image, we need to really evaluate the safety and security program," Boyer said.

In the meantime, Magnuson will continue in his current role, including attending a home basketball game with Chapman today, Boyer said.