Diederich deserves our thanks

January 28, 2015

A column by Temporary Board Chair Terry Hjelmstad

A column by Temporary Board Chair Terry Hjelmstad

I would like to publicly thank Dr. Kirsten Diederich for her service on the State Board of Higher Education. She served on the Board for four-and-a-half years and for a year-and-a-half as Chair. Under her leadership, the Board came together as a team, despite many challenges, to do the right thing for our students.

Dr. Diederich dedicated countless hours to the Board, and her experience in higher education was definitely a plus. She accomplished a great deal during her tenure, especially the development of a new vision, mission and strategic plan for the North Dakota University System.

However, when it became apparent to her that she may not be confirmed for a second term, she decided to step down, rather than be the center of controversy. It was a personal decision that we, of course, deeply respect. It shows what type of servant leader she is – always trying to keep the focus on what’s really important – our students.

A search has already begun to fill the Board position left open by Dr. Diederich’s resignation. Interested candidates may get more information here. The deadline is Jan. 30. In accordance with Board policy, as Vice Chairman of the Board, I am now serving as Temporary Chairman. At this week’s Board meeting, the Board will elect its next Chair.