State School Superintendent Kirsten Baesler on Wednesday asked North Dakotans to consider applying for the Board of Higher Education, a job she called “a rewarding commitment to public service.”

The board, which has eight voting members, has an unexpected vacancy because of the resignation of its newest appointee; Fargo attorney Joseph Wetch Jr. Wetch joined the board July 1. He resigned Aug. 20, saying he was unable to continue serving because of “unforeseen circumstances.”  

The governor appoints members of the Board of Higher Education. Gov. Doug Burgum’s pick will be chosen to serve the remainder of Wetch’s four-year term. He or she will begin serving immediately. The North Dakota Senate, which confirms Board of Higher Education appointments, will vote on whether to confirm Burgum’s choice during the 2021 Legislature.

North Dakotans who are interested in the position must apply by 5 p.m. Friday, Nov. 13. Late applications will not be accepted. They may be emailed to the North Dakota Department of Public Instruction at, or sent by regular mail to the NDDPI at 600 E. Boulevard Ave., Dept. 201 Bismarck, ND, 58505.

Applicants must fill out a single-page form, submit a resume, and supply no more than six letters of recommendation. They must have lived in North Dakota for the previous five years, and not been employed or paid by the North Dakota University System within the previous two years.

The board oversees North Dakota’s public university system of 11 colleges and universities. It usually meets once each month.

“Serving on the Board of Higher Education is demanding, but it is also a rewarding commitment to public service,” Baesler said. “Setting policy and advocating for our university system is one of the most important jobs in North Dakota.”

Baesler is chair of a nominating committee that reviews applications for the board and recommends potential appointments to the governor.

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