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NDSU security position will stay, but directive to protect university president eliminated

North Dakota State University police Capt. Scott Magnuson, left, accompanies President Joseph Chapman to athletic events as part of increased security efforts on campus. They are pictured here at a Jan. 10 women's basketball game against Western Illinois at the Bison Sports Arena. (Dave Wallis/The Forum)

FARGO - Protecting Joseph Chapman and his family will no longer be a job description of a North Dakota State University police captain.

Chapman wrote a letter Monday directing Ray Boyer, director of the NDSU Police and Safety, to eliminate any directive to protect the president and his family.

However, NDSU police will continue to attend sporting events and other large events to maintain contact with Chapman and other administrators.

Police also will monitor the president's house nightly and occasionally drive Chapman, Boyer said.

Chapman directed Boyer to study the job duties of Capt. Scott Magnuson after some viewed Magnuson's job as the president's bodyguard and criticized the need for it.

Since last fall, Magnuson has been attending all home football games and other large events with Chapman as part of his role as a police liaison to administrators.

Boyer recommended keeping the position in order to retain communication with the president and other decision-makers during a crisis response.

Chapman, in his letter Monday, concurred with Boyer, but said NDSU must be responsive to the perception that the position is the president's bodyguard.

"I don't want anything that even hints that they might be providing a bodyguard for me or anything like that," Chapman said Monday.

Chapman did not direct Boyer to change anything other than the job description.

Boyer said he needs non-uniformed police to attend large events when all decision-makers are there to maintain contact if there's a crisis.

"It's not going to be necessarily by somebody standing with the president or attending with the president," Boyer said.

Magnuson, who makes $65,000 a year, has other administrative duties, including determining the security needs for NDSU's downtown campus. He's Boyer's first contact during a crisis to manage the administration's response.

Incidents such as the man who brought a pellet pistol to the downtown campus in February 2008 prompted NDSU to see the need for a direct link between campus police and administration.