ST. CLOUD - Governor Mark Dayton came to St. Cloud State University to break ground today (Thursday) on a new building.

But, he was also met by a group of protesters.  The roughly 50 students were chanting and holding signs protesting the firing of one of the university professors.  Governor Dayton agreed to hear the students out, but only if they agreed to be quiet during the groundbreaking ceremony.  

Doctor Semya Hakim, Professor of Human Relation and Multicultural Education, says they've been trying to meet with President Earl Potter for a month, with no success.  So they grabbed the opportunity to get in front of the Governor.

Governor Dayton heard from about a dozen students before he responded their their pleas.

Governor Dayton says he'll talk with MnSCU Chancellor Steven Rosenstone about the details behind the firing of Professor Mahmoud Saffari, but he couldn't promise anything.

The details behind the reasons for the release of professor Saffari have not been released.  He has been the Associate Vice President for Enrollment Management for the past eight years.