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UND center director placed on administrative leave

GRAND FORKS, N.D. (AP) - University of North Dakota officials say the director of the school's Energy and Environmental Research Center has been placed on paid administrative leave.

Gerald Groenewold has been director of the center since 1987. UND spokesman Peter Johnson told The Associated Press Monday that the day-to-day operations of the EERC will be handled by Tom Erickson, an associate director for the center.

The EERC is UND's primary research facility and employs about 300 people, including scientists and engineers.

Groenewold pleaded guilty in 2008 to a misdemeanor assault charge for an incident involving his wife, state Sen. Connie Triplett. He was sentenced to one year of probation and ordered to complete 30 hours of community service.