Candidates with a caveat: North Dakota State Board of Higher Education seeking applications with a twist

Photo by: WDAY Radio Staff
Photo by: WDAY Radio Staff

(Bismarck, ND) -- The North Dakota Board of Higher Education is seeking applicants for a pair of upcoming openings, but there is a major caveat.

State School Superintendent Kirsten Baesler on Tuesday invited North Dakotans to apply for two openings on the Board of Higher Education, which oversees the state’s 11 colleges and universities and a biennial budget of $2.7 billion. The caveat, however, is that North Dakota State University bachelor’s degree holders are ineligible for appointment at present because of a restriction in the state Constitution, which says no more than two bachelor’s degree holders from any one North Dakota University System institution may serve on the board at the same time.

The board already has two NDSU bachelor’s degree holders, Jeffry Volk, of Fargo (whose first term ends in June 2025), and Kevin Black, of Minot (whose first term ends in June 2026). The student board member is exempt from the alumni provision.

Candidates must fill out a one-page application and supply a resume and no more than six letters of reference. They must have lived in North Dakota for the previous five years, and not been employed or paid by the North Dakota University System within the last two years.

The Board of Higher Education has eight voting members, seven of whom are chosen for four-year terms. The eighth is a student at one of the North Dakota University System’s schools and serves for one year. The SBHE also has nonvoting members who represent the system’s faculty and staff.

The four-year terms of incumbent board members Tim Mihalick, who is the board’s vice chairman, and Nick Hacker end on June 30th. Mihalick is eligible for appointment to a second term; Hacker is not. The North Dakota Constitution limits Board of Higher Education members to two terms of service.

Baesler is chairwoman of a five-person screening committee that will choose a group of three finalists for each seat and forward its recommendations to Governor Doug Burgum, who will make the appointments. The governor’s choices must be reviewed by the North Dakota Senate.

The board meets almost every month, and members also serve on subcommittees that focus on academic and student affairs, budget and finance, research and governance, and audits. 

The application deadline for the two positions falls at 5 p.m. on Tuesday, January 10th, 2023. Applications may be emailed to the North Dakota Department of Public Instruction at dpipaatnd [dot] gov or sent by regular mail to the NDDPI at 600 E. Boulevard Ave., Dept. 201, Bismarck, ND, 58505.

Late applications will not be accepted.