Tuesday, November 17, 2020 - 11:00am Categories:
Press Release

BISMARCK, N.D., Nov. 17, 2020 – State School Superintendent Kirsten Baesler said six North Dakotans have applied for an open seat on the Board of Higher Education, which oversees the state’s 11 public colleges and universities.

The board, which has eight voting members, has had an opening since the Aug. 20 resignation of Fargo attorney Joseph A. Wetch Jr. Baesler is chair of a nominating committee that will recommend three potential successors to Gov. Doug Burgum. The committee is holding a virtual meeting at 11:30 a.m. Friday, Nov. 20, to make its choices.

The applicants are:

  • Matthew Dunlevy, Grand Forks, chairman and chief executive officer of SkyScopes, which offers drone services for inspections, videography, and other tasks; 
  • Bruce Gjovig, Grand Forks, retired founder and chief executive officer of the Center for Innovation at the University of North Dakota;
  • Perry Lubbers, Casselton, a retired executive for Trail King Industries, a manufacturer of truck trailers, and member of the state Workforce Development Council;
  • Jeremy Neuharth, Fargo, co-founder and chief executive officer of Sycorr, a software provider for financial institutions;
  • Mark Nygard, Hazen, a retired construction and project manager for Basin Electric Power Cooperative of Bismarck; and
  • John Warford, Bismarck, an orthodontist, former mayor of Bismarck, and former dean of the Gary Tharaldson School of Business at Bismarck’s University of Mary.

The nominating committee is also seeking applications for two Board of Higher Education positions that will come open on July 1, 2021. The application deadline for those spots is 5 p.m. on Thursday, Dec. 31.

The seats are now held by Kathleen Neset, a geologist and consultant to the oil industry, and Dr. Casey Ryan, a Grand Forks physician and former hospital administrator. Ryan is eligible for a second four-year term on the board. Neset is finishing her second and final term.

The governor appoints the voting members of the Board of Higher Education. Voting members who are eligible for four-year terms are subject to confirmation by the North Dakota Senate.

The nominating committee is made up of Baesler; Chief Justice Jon Jensen; Nick Archuleta, president of North Dakota United; House Speaker Lawrence Klemin, R-Bismarck; and state Senate President Pro Tempore Oley Larsen, R-Minot.