Panel Names Six Finalists for Two 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

Panel Names Six Finalists for Two Board of Higher Education Seats

BISMARCK, N.D., May 11, 2018 – State Superintendent Kirsten Baesler said Friday that a nominating committee has recommended six finalists for two positions on North Dakota’s Board of Higher Education.

Jill Louters, of Sheyenne; Gregory Stites, of Bismarck; and Roscoe Streyle, of Minot, were chosen as possible successors to incumbent board member Kevin Melicher of Fargo. Richard Becker, of Grand Forks; Shireen Hoff, of Bismarck; and Daniel Traynor, of Devils Lake, were picked as potential successors to incumbent board member Mike Ness of Bismarck.

Gov. Doug Burgum will choose from among the two groups in filling the vacancies left by Melicher and Ness. Their terms end June 30. The governor’s choices will join the board July 1, but they will need to be confirmed by the North Dakota Senate early next year for them to be eligible to continue serving.

Baesler is chairwoman of a nominating committee that reviews Board of Higher Education applicants and recommends potential appointees to the governor. The panel’s membership is outlined in the North Dakota Constitution, and they are required to recommend three names for each opening on the board.

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

The Board of Higher Education has eight voting members, all of whom are appointed by the governor. Seven members are appointed to four-year terms. The eighth member is a student in one of the North Dakota University System’s 11 colleges and universities. He or she is appointed to a one-year term.

Louters is superintendent of the New Rockford-Sheyenne school district in northeastern North Dakota. Stites is a retired Bismarck attorney. Streyle is chief information officer of the United Community Bank of Minot and a Republican state representative. Streyle’s House term ends in December, and he is not seeking re-election.

Becker is a management consultant and a Grand Forks Republican state House member. Hoff is a retired health care administrator and nurse. Traynor is a Devils Lake attorney.

Seventeen people applied for the two openings. One withdrew and two were deemed ineligible. Six applied after the April 2 deadline, including Streyle and Hoff. The nominating committee decided to accept the late submissions, in part because the original application window was only one month long.

Baesler said in the future, the committee will set aside two calendar months for North Dakotans to submit Board of Higher Education applications, and refuse to accept late or incomplete applications. The application process consists of filling out a state form and submitting a resume and no more than six letters of recommendation. The committee voted to support the new application guidelines.