Baesler Seeks Applicants for ND Board of Higher Education

March 2, 2018

State Superintendent Kirsten Baesler is inviting North Dakotans to apply for two openings on the Board of Higher Education, which sets policy for the state’s 11 public colleges and universities.

A seat on the Board of Higher Education is considered one of the state’s most prestigious appointments. The two open positions carry four-year terms, which begin July 1. The board meets each month, and its meetings are typically held on one of the system’s campuses.

“We look for the same attributes and qualities in our higher ed board members as any corporation, business or agency would look for as they look for people to lead, and govern, and provide direction for a system,” Baesler said. “We look for people with vision, we look for people with leadership skills, collaboration skills, communication skills.”

“I would encourage everyone who has an idea or a belief that they can make a difference in shaping our higher education system to apply,” Baesler said.

Board of Higher Education hopefuls must complete an application form and include a resume and letters of recommendation. Application materials are due at 5 p.m. Monday, April 2.

Completed forms should be emailed to Baesler’s executive assistant, Patty Carmichael, at, or mailed to the State Superintendent, Department of Public Instruction, 600 E. Boulevard Ave., Dept. 201, Bismarck, N.D., 58505.

Baesler is chairwoman of a state committee that nominates Board of Higher Education applicants.  The committee’s choices will be forwarded to Gov. Doug Burgum, who will appoint the two members. The governor’s choices are subject to confirmation by the North Dakota Senate.

Aside from Baesler, the nominating committee’s members are state Rep. Larry Bellew, R-Minot, the speaker of the North Dakota House; state Sen. Dave Oehlke, R-Devils Lake, the president pro tempore of the North Dakota Senate; North Dakota Chief Justice Gerald VandeWalle; and Nick Archuleta, president of North Dakota United, which represents public employees and public school teachers. The committee’s makeup is specified in the North Dakota Constitution (Article 8, Section 6(2)(a)).

The Board of Higher Education has eight voting members. Seven are appointed by the governor for four-year terms. The eighth is a North Dakota University System student, who is appointed for one year. In addition, the board has nonvoting members that represent university system faculty and staff, both of whom serve one-year terms.

The two board seats that are coming open in June are held by Kevin Melicher of Fargo and Mike Ness of Hazen. Both men are eligible to be reappointed to a second four-year term on the board.

The North Dakota University System includes the University of North Dakota, North Dakota State University, Dickinson State University, Mayville State University, Minot State University, Valley City State University, Bismarck State College, Dakota College at Bottineau, Lake Region State College at Devils Lake, the North Dakota State College of Science at Wahpeton, and Williston State College.