Six Finalists Chosen for ND Board of Higher Education Seats

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For Immediate Release
Jan. 19, 2017
Contact: Dale Wetzel, Public Information Specialist
Office 701-328-2247
Cell: 701-400-8557
Six Finalists Chosen for ND Board of Higher Education Seats

BISMARCK, N.D., Jan. 19, 2017 – State Superintendent Kirsten Baesler announced Thursday that six finalists have been chosen for two seats on North Dakota’s Board of Higher Education.

Baesler said the names have been forwarded to Gov. Doug Burgum, who will formally nominate candidates for the two seats. They will be the new governor’s first picks for the higher education board, which oversees the 11 colleges and universities in the North Dakota University System. The North Dakota Senate must confirm Burgum’s nominees for them to be eligible to serve.

The candidates are in two groups of three. Kathleen Neset, who is now the board’s chairwoman, is among one group of finalists. Neset, who was first chosen for the board in June 2012, has applied to be appointed to a second four-year term. She is a Tioga geologist and consultant to the oil and gas industry.

Other candidates in the group are Shawn Oban, who is principal of Bismarck’s Roosevelt Elementary School, and Jonathan Sickler, who is chief legal officer for Advanced Engineering and Environmental Services Inc. of Grand Forks.

The second group includes Howard Dahl, president and chief executive officer of Amity Technology LLC of Fargo; Casey Ryan, a Grand Forks doctor and the former president of Altru Health System; and Mary Stammen, of Grand Forks, who is director of the special education unit that serves Griggs, Steele and Traill counties in east-central North Dakota.

Baesler is the chairwoman of a nominating committee that reviews Board of Higher Education applications and makes recommendations to the governor. Other members are Chief Justice Gerald Vande Walle, North Dakota United President Nick Archuleta, North Dakota House Speaker Larry Bellew of Minot, and state Sen. Gary Lee, of Casselton, who is the Senate’s president pro tempore.

The Board of Higher Education has eight voting members, all of whom are appointed by the governor, and two nonvoting members who represent the university system’s faculty and staff. Seven of its voting members are eligible to serve two four-year terms. Its eighth voting member is a student who serves a one-year term.