Baesler: Resignation Changes ND Board of Higher Ed Process

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For Immediate Release
Contact: Dale Wetzel, Public Information Specialist
Office 701-328-2247
Cell: 701-400-8557

BISMARCK, N.D., Oct. 10, 2018 -- State School Superintendent Kirsten Baesler said the process of filling two openings on the state Board of Higher Education is changing because of the resignation of Greg Stemen, the board’s vice chairman.

Stemen and fellow board member Nick Hacker were both serving four-year terms that ended June 30. However, Stemen resigned Sept. 27, and Gov. Doug Burgum must appoint someone to serve the time left on Stemen’s term.

Following that, the governor must choose two members to serve new four-year Board of Higher Education terms, both of which begin July 1.

Hacker is eligible to be appointed to a second four-year term. Stemen would also have been eligible, had he not resigned. The person chosen to serve out Stemen’s term will be eligible for appointment to a full four-year term once the "short" term ends.

Baesler is chairwoman of a nominating committee that screens Board of Higher Education candidates. For each opening, it forwards a list of three possible choices to the governor. A week before Stemen’s resignation, Baesler announced that the nominating committee was seeking applications for the two Board of Higher Education terms that begin July 1.

The application deadline falls at 5 p.m. Nov. 21. The nominating committee will meet soon afterward to choose SBHE candidates to forward to the governor. Board of Higher Education appointments must be confirmed by the North Dakota Senate.

Stemen’s resignation means the nominating committee will now need to prepare three lists for these positions on the Board of Higher Education:

  1. A six-month term (approximately) for the person who succeeds Stemen. That person’s term will end June 30, 2019.
  2. A four-year term for the seat held by Stemen’s successor. That term will begin July 1, 2019. The person who succeeds Stemen would be eligible for reappointment.
  3. A four-year term for the seat held by Nick Hacker. That term will start July 1, 2019. Hacker is eligible for reappointment.

Baesler said the first two lists could be identical, although they are not required to be.

"Applicants for the Board of Higher Education need to be aware of these changed circumstances," Baesler said. "First of all, one of the two positions does not have an incumbent. Greg Stemen’s successor would also begin serving on the board right away, rather than waiting until July 1."

The North Dakota Constitution requires that the governor’s appointment to the "short term" on the SBHE be confirmed by the state Senate within the 2019 session’s first 30 legislative days. If the person is not confirmed within that time frame, the seat becomes vacant again.

Other members of the Board of Higher Education nominating committee are Gerald VandeWalle, chief justice of the North Dakota Supreme Court; Nick Archuleta, president of North Dakota United; the speaker of the North Dakota House; and the president pro tempore of the North Dakota Senate.

Board of Higher Education applicants must complete an application form, and provide a resume and no more than six letters of recommendation. 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.

Applications received after the deadline will not be accepted. The deadline falls at 5 p.m. on Wednesday, Nov. 21.