By NDUSGov. Jack Dalrymple today reappointed Kirsten Diederich, Ph.D., to a second four-year term on the state Board of Higher Education. Dalrymple also appointed Fargo optometrist and former Fargo School Board president Dr. Kevin Melicher to serve a four-year term on the board. Both appointments are effective July 1.
Dalrymple appointed Melicher to replace Duane Espegard whose term expires June 30. Espegard has served on the state Board of Higher Education since March 2007.
“Kirsten Diederich and Kevin Melicher are proven leaders who have a long history of community service and an unwavering commitment to educational excellence in North Dakota,” Dalrymple said. “Serving on the Board of Higher Education carries a tremendous amount of responsibility and both Kirsten and Kevin bring to this important position a great deal of experience in education and the strong leadership skills that are required for the continued advancement of North Dakota’s system of higher education.”
Melicher served on the Fargo School Board for eight years. He served as board president in 1994 and as treasurer and negotiations leader in 1996. He is past president of the North Dakota Optometric Association and has held many leadership roles in civic organizations including United Way, the Dakota Medical Foundation, the Fargo Public Schools Foundation and the North Dakota State Board of Optometry. Melicher earned his undergraduate degree at North Dakota State University and his Doctor of Optometry from Illinois College of Optometry. He has practiced optometry for 38 years.
Diederich chairs the state Board of Higher Education. A retired biology professor, Diederich was appointed to the board in July 2010. She attended the University of North Dakota for three years before earning a bachelor's degree in psychology, a master's in entomology and a doctorate in zoology from North Dakota State University.
While a member of the state Board of Higher Education, Diederich has also served on the Board of Directors for the Association of Community College Trustees. She has also served in several leadership roles in civic organizations including the YWCA Board of Trustees and the Fargo-based Rape and Abuse Crisis Center Board of Directors.
In making the appointments, Dalrymple also commended Duane Espegard, a former state senator and retired Grand Forks bank executive, for six years of dedicated service to North Dakota’s university system.
The State Board of Higher Education consists of seven citizen members who are appointed by the governor to serve four-year terms and one student appointed to serve a one-year term. The Council of College Faculties selects the board's non-voting faculty advisor, and the NDUS Staff Senate selects the board's non-voting staff advisor. The board sets policy for the North Dakota University System and is the governing body for North Dakota's 11 publicly supported colleges and universities.
As per the North Dakota State Constitution, the governor makes four-year appointments to the Board of Higher Education from a list of nominees selected by a committee composed of the president of the North Dakota Education Association, Chief Justice of the North Dakota Supreme Court, the Superintendent of Public Instruction, the President Pro Tempore of the Senate, and the Speaker of the North Dakota House of Representatives. The student member is appointed from a list advanced to the governor by the North Dakota Student Association.