On May 20, Governor Jack Dalrymple reappointed Kirsten Diederich, Ph.D., to a second four-year term on the State Board of Higher Education. Dalrymple also appointed Fargo optometrist and former Fargo School Board president Dr. Kevin Melicher to serve his first four-year term on the Board. Both appointments are effective July 1.
Melicher will replace Duaine Espegard whose term expires June 30. Dalrymple commended Espegard, a former state senator and retired Grand Forks bank executive, for seven years of dedicated service to North Dakota’s university system.
“Kirsten Diederich and Kevin Melicher are proven leaders who have a long history of community service and an unwavering commitment to educational excellence in North Dakota,” Dalrymple said in a news release. “Serving on the Board of Higher Education carries a tremendous amount of responsibility and both Kirsten and Kevin bring to this important position a great deal of experience in education and the strong leadership skills that are required for the continued advancement of North Dakota’s system of higher education.”
Melicher served on the Fargo School Board for eight years, including terms as board president and treasurer and negotiations leader. He has held many leadership roles in civic organizations including the North Dakota Optometric Association, United Way, the Dakota Medical Foundation, the Fargo Public Schools Foundation and the North Dakota State Board of Optometry. Melicher holds an undergraduate degree from North Dakota State University and his Doctor of Optometry from Illinois College of Optometry. He has practiced optometry for 38 years.
Diederich was appointed to the Board in July 2010, and currently serves as Board Chair. She has served in several other leadership roles, including the Board of Directors for the Association of Community College Trustees, the YWCA Board of Trustees and the Fargo-based Rape and Abuse Crisis Center Board of Directors. Diederich is a retired biology professor. She attended the University of North Dakota for three years before earning a bachelor’s degree in psychology, a master’s in entomology and a doctorate in zoology from North Dakota State University.
As per the North Dakota State Constitution, the governor makes four-year appointments to the Board from a list of nominees selected by a committee composed of the president of the North Dakota Education Association, Chief Justice of the North Dakota Supreme Court, the Superintendent of Public Instruction, the President Pro Tempore of the Senate, and the Speaker of the North Dakota House of Representatives. The student member is appointed from a list advanced to the governor by the North Dakota Student Association. The governor’s office is in the process of scheduling interviews with the student candidates now, and Governor Dalrymple plans to make an appointment by July 1.