Baesler: Ten Apply for Board of Higher Education Seats

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For Immediate Release
Contact: Dale Wetzel, Public Information Specialist
Office 701-328-2247
Cell: 701-400-8557
Email: dewetzel@nd.gov

Baesler: Ten Apply for Board of Higher Education Seats

BISMARCK, N.D., April 4, 2018 – North Dakota School Superintendent Kirsten Baesler said 10 people have applied for two openings on the state Board of Higher Education.
The terms of incumbent board members Kevin Melicher and Mike Ness are ending June 30. Melicher, a Fargo optometrist, has applied to serve a second four-year term. Ness, who is a retired school administrator and teacher, did not apply for reappointment.
Aside from Melicher, the applicants for the two positions are:
  • Richard Becker, of Grand Forks, a management consultant and Republican member of the North Dakota House;
  • Kristin Hedger, of Dickinson, who is vice president for business development at Killdeer Mountain Manufacturing, an aerospace manufacturing company with locations in Killdeer, Dickinson, Hettinger and Regent;
  • Tyrone Langager, a retired Minot physician and former Board of Higher Education president;
  • Jill Louters, of Sheyenne, superintendent of the New Rockford-Sheyenne school district in northeastern North Dakota;
  • La Lynda Nelson-Blotsky, of Williston, the vice principal of Williston Trinity Christian School;
  • Tom Seymour, of West Fargo, a director of Cass County Electric Cooperative and a former Democratic state senator from Minot;
  • Allan Skramstad, of West Fargo, an aviation instructor and safety expert and former professor at the Odegard School of Aerospace Sciences at the University of North Dakota;  
  • Gregory Stites, a retired Bismarck attorney; and
  • Dan Traynor, a Devils Lake attorney.
Baesler is chairwoman of a nominating committee that reviews applications for the Board of Higher Education and recommends possible appointments to the governor. The panel must recommend at least three candidates for each of the two openings. Its meeting to consider the applications has not yet been scheduled.

Other nominating committee members are Chief Justice Gerald VandeWalle; Nick Archuleta, president of North Dakota United, an organization that represents school teachers and public employees; state Sen. Dave Oehlke, R-Devils Lake, who is president pro tempore of the North Dakota Senate; and state House Speaker Larry Bellew, R-Minot.

The Board of Higher Education has eight voting members, seven of whom are appointed by the governor for four-year terms, and a student member who is appointed for one year. The board also has two nonvoting members who represent the North Dakota University System’s faculty and employees.

The board oversees North Dakota’s 11 public colleges and universities.
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