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Finalized candidates for the North Dakota Board of Higher Education



Bismarck, North Dakota – Seven North Dakotans have submitted applications to be considered for two slots on the state Board of Higher Education, according to an announcement made on Thursday by North Dakota State School Superintendent Kirsten Baesler.

The contenders 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 eight elective members of the Board of Higher Education are chosen by the governor. The nomination committee, whose members are board candidates, is led by Baesler.

Both positions have four-year mandates that start on July 1st. Members of the Board of Higher Education are limited to two consecutive terms.

Tim Mihalick and Nick Hacker’s periods as in office expire on June 30. After serving two terms, Hacker is resigning from the board. Mihalick has submitted an application for a second term after finishing his first.

In addition to Baesler, the members of the nominating committee for the Board of Higher Education are: state senator Don Schaible, state representative Dennis Johnson, chief justice of the supreme court Jon Jensen, and president of North Dakota United, a group that advocates for public school teachers and government workers, Nick Archuleta.

Later, after reviewing the applications, the committee will recommend a shortlist to Governor Doug Burgum, who will then make the nominations.