Nick Hacker has not led a typical life. One of the younger members of the State Board of Higher Education, Hacker also holds the distinction for having been the youngest person to serve in the North Dakota Senate at the time he was elected.
But his relatively young age shouldn’t come as an indication of a general lack of experience. In fact, Hacker has already racked up quite an extensive portfolio of service and now he is focused on service in education. He currently serves as president of North Dakota Guaranty and Title, the state’s largest title insurance and real estate closing company with operations in N.D., Minnesota and Montana.
Hacker grew up in Alexandria, Minn., and enrolled in the University of North Dakota’s aviation program. While there he also attended classes at the College of Business. It was there that he discovered a passion for real estate finance. According to him, his motivation to grow as an undergraduate helped advance his education to achieve relatively high levels of success and be involved on campus.
“I had always been interested in politics, but more importantly, in giving back to my community and state,” Hacker said. “I grew up in a blue-collar, hard-working family who believed that with dedication and perspiration, anything is possible.”
In 2004 that dedication and perspiration led Hacker to win an election into the N.D. State Senate at just 22 years of age. During his time there he had to quickly learn about topics most people his age weren’t thinking about, at least not on a daily basis, ranging from educations to corrections. Soon the opportunity to attend the Bowhay Institute for Legislative Leadership arose and he took it. That helped him on his way to becoming a more effective public servant and state senator.
“I have had a lot of wonderful opportunities following graduation from working with entrepreneurs, real estate development and working in Washington, D.C., to moving back to N.D. and leading a business in Williston at the height of the oil boom,” Hacker said. “During these experiences I continued to stay connected to UND through the Delta Tau Delta Education Foundation, which awards tens of thousands in scholarships every semester.”
His motivation to stay involved in education leapt to new levels with his appointment to the SBHE last year.
“I was interested in joining the State Board of Higher Education because I felt I could bring collaborative leadership to stay focused on delivering value to our students, all while ensuring an environment in which they can succeed,” he said. “What has interested me most about higher education is the dedication to the advancement of our intellectual youth at all turns. I hope we can innovate and evolve to address student trends and meet their needs. I believe we need to think differently to increase accessibility and to provide students with more opportunities to succeed.”
Hacker noted that his background in business in the state had allowed him to see firsthand the high level of talent coming out of the state’s 11 public colleges and universities.
“I have had the opportunity to see the wonderful talents of our graduates, as well as many of their needs post-graduation,” he added. “I believe we need to continue to strengthen our focus on what is important: student success.
“I look forward to a successful four years on the board through contributing my time and talents to better our system, colleges and universities,” he concluded.