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Applications being accepted for ND SBHE openings

BISMARCK—Superintendent of Public Instruction Kirsten Baesler said the process for filling two openings on the State Board of Higher Education is changing slightly because of the resignation of Greg Stemen, the board's vice chairman.

Stemen and another board member, Nick Hacker, were each serving four-year terms that are set to end June 30, 2019. However, after the resignation of Stemen last month, Gov. Doug Burgum must appoint someone to fill his position for about six months.

After that period of time, the governor will choose two members to serve new four-year SBHE terms, both of which will begin July 1, 2019.

Hacker is eligible to be appointed to a second four-year term, according to a press release from the Department of Public Instruction. The person chosen to serve out Stemen's term will be eligible for appointment to a full four-year term after their short-term appointment ends.

Stemen's resignation means the nominating committee will now need to prepare three lists for these positions on the board:

  • An approximately six-month term for the person who succeeds Stemen. That person's term will end June 30, 2019.
  • A four-year term for the seat held by Stemen's successor. That term will begin July 1, 2019. The person who succeeds Stemen would be eligible for reappointment, the release stated.
  • A four-year term for the seat held by Nick Hacker. That term will start July 1, 2019. Hacker is eligible for reappointment.

"Applicants for the Board of Higher Education need to be aware of these changed circumstances," Baesler said in a statement. "First of all, one of the two positions does not have an incumbent. Greg Stemen's successor would also begin serving on the board right away, rather than waiting until July 1."

The North Dakota Constitution requires that the governor's short-term appointment to the board be confirmed by the state Senate within the first 30 legislative days of the 2019 session. If the person is not confirmed within that time frame, the seat again becomes vacant.

Applicants must complete an application form and provide a resume and no more than six letters of recommendation. Completed forms should be emailed to Baesler's Executive Assistant, Patty Carmichael, at, or mailed to the State Superintendent, Department of Public Instruction, 600 E. Boulevard Ave., Dept. 201, Bismarck, ND 58505.

The deadline for applications is 5 p.m. Nov. 21. Applications received after the deadline will not be accepted.

The nominating committee will meet soon after the deadline to choose candidates to forward to the governor. Appointments must be confirmed by the North Dakota Senate.

Baesler is the chairwoman of a nominating committee that screens SBHE candidates.

Other members of the SBHE nominating committee are Gerald VandeWalle, chief justice of the North Dakota Supreme Court; Nick Archuleta, president of North Dakota United; the speaker of the North Dakota House; and the president pro tempore of the North Dakota Senate.

Sydney Mook

Sydney Mook has been covering higher education at the Grand Forks Herald since May 2018. She previously served as the multimedia editor and cops, courts and health reporter at the Dickinson Press from January 2016 to May 2018.  She graduated from the University of South Dakota with a bachelor's degree in journalism and political science in three and half years in December 2015. While at the USD, she worked for the campus newspaper, The Volante, as well as the television news show, Coyote News. She also interned at South Dakota Public Broadcasting and spent the summer before her senior year interning in Fort Knox for the ROTC Cadet Summer Training program. In her spare time, Sydney enjoys cheering on the New York Yankees and the Kentucky Wildcats, as well as playing golf. If you've got an idea for a video be sure to give her a call!

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