North Dakota Board of Higher Education candidates finalized

Photo by: North Dakota University System
Photo by: North Dakota University System

(Bismarck, ND) -- North Dakota State School Superintendent Kirsten Baesler announced Thursday that seven North Dakotans have applied to be considered for two openings on the state Board of Higher Education.

The candidates are:

  • Curtis Biller, Fargo, human resources consultant, Strengths Inc.
  • Katrina Christiansen, Jamestown, professor of engineering at the University of Jamestown;
  • Dustin Gawrylow, Bismarck, political consultant, Policy Matters LLC;
  • Timothy Mihalick, Minot, business development officer, First Western Bank & Trust, who is a current SBHE board member who now serves as its vice chairman; 
  • Stanley Schauer, Bismarck, director of assessment, North Dakota Department of Public Instruction;
  • Marya Skaare, Dickinson, president of Trinity Catholic Schools; and
  • Mevan Wijetunga, Grand Forks, cardiologist, Altru Health System.

The governor appoints the eight voting members of the Board of Higher Education. Baesler is chairwoman of a nominating committee that screens board candidates.

The two openings both carry four-year terms that begin July 1st. Board of Higher Education members may serve a maximum of two consecutive terms.

The terms of incumbents Tim Mihalick and Nick Hacker are ending June 30th. Hacker is leaving the board after serving two terms. Mihalick is completing his first term and has applied for a second.

Aside from Baesler, the members of the Board of Higher Education’s nominating committee are: State Senator Don Schaible, State Representative Dennis Johnson, Supreme Court Chief Justice Jon Jensen and Nick Archuleta, president of North Dakota United, a group that represents public school teachers and public employees.

The committee will review the applications later and suggest finalists to Governor Doug Burgum, who will make the appointments.