Monday, February 26, 2024 - 01:00pm Categories:

State School Superintendent Kirsten Baesler on Monday asked North Dakotans to apply for an opening on the Board of Higher Education, which is a policymaking and advocacy board for the state’s 11 public colleges and universities.

The invitation is limited, however. North Dakotans who have a bachelor’s degree from North Dakota State University are ineligible to apply, because there are already two NDSU alumni on the board. The state Constitution says no more than two bachelor’s degree holders from a single North Dakota University System school may serve on the board at once. The board has eight voting members.

The four-year term of incumbent board member John Warford ends June 30. He is eligible for reappointment to a second term. Warford is a Bismarck orthodontist, a former Bismarck mayor, and a former dean of the business school at the University of Mary in Bismarck. 

The governor appoints members of the Board of Higher Education. Baesler is chairwoman of a five-member committee that screens applicants and forwards a list of suggested appointees to the governor. The committee’s makeup is specified in the North Dakota Constitution.

The application deadline for the position is 5 p.m. Wednesday, April 24, 2024. Applications may be emailed to the North Dakota Department of Public Instruction at or sent by regular mail to the NDDPI at 600 E. Boulevard Ave., Dept. 201, Bismarck, ND, 58505. 

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. They may not have been employed or paid by the North Dakota University System within the last two years.

Seven of the Board of Higher Education’s eight voting members are appointed for four-year terms. The eighth is a student at one of the state University System’s schools and serves for one year. The SBHE also has nonvoting members who represent the system’s faculty and staff. The board meets almost every month, and board members also serve on subcommittees that focus on academic and student affairs, budget and finance, research and governance, and audits. 

The nominating committee that will consider applications is made up of Baesler; the chief justice of the North Dakota Supreme Court; the president of North Dakota United, Nick Archuleta; the president pro tempore of the North Dakota Senate, Sen. Ronald Sorvaag, R-Fargo; and the speaker of the North Dakota House, Rep. Dennis Johnson, R-Devils Lake.