Seven apply for two spots on North Dakota's higher-ed board

The positions are now held by Dr. Casey Ryan, a Grand Forks physician, and Kathleen Neset, a Tioga petroleum geologist and industry consultant. Their terms end June 30.

State Board of Higher Education members Nick Hacker and Casey Ryan listen during a meeting in this 2019 photo. Sydney Mook / Grand Forks Herald)

A committee will meet later this week to consider applicants for two seats on North Dakota’s higher-ed governance board.

The nominating committee, which is responsible for forwarding names to Gov. Doug Burgum, will meet Thursday, Jan. 28, to discuss seven applicants for two seats on the board.

The positions are now held by Dr. Casey Ryan, a Grand Forks physician, and Kathleen Neset, a Tioga petroleum geologist and industry consultant. Their terms end June 30.

Ryan, who was appointed to the board in July 2017, is eligible for a second four-year term and has applied to be considered. Neset joined the board in June 2012. She is finishing her second term and is not eligible for reappointment.

The applicants for the two positions are:


  • Kevin Black, Minot, president of Creedence Energy Services, an oil and gas service company.

  • Laetitia Mizero Hellerud, West Fargo, an education consultant and former program director and state refugee coordinator for Lutheran Social Services.

  • Mark Nygard, Hazen, a retired construction manager for Basin Electric Power Cooperative.

  • Casey Ryan, Grand Forks, a physician, former medical administrator, and incumbent board member.

  • Stanley Schauer, Bismarck, director of assessments for the North Dakota Department of Public Instruction.

  • Jeffry Volk, West Fargo, president and chief executive officer of Moore Holding Co., an engineering consultancy.

  • Frank Walker, New Rockford, a veterinarian and rancher.

The nominating committee will meet at 4 p.m. Thursday.
Baesler is chair of the Board of Higher Education’s nominating committee, whose membership is set out in the North Dakota Constitution. Other members are Chief Justice Jon Jensen; Nick Archuleta, president of North Dakota United, which represents teachers and public employees; Rep. Kim Koppelman, R-West Fargo, the speaker of the North Dakota House; and Sen. Randy Burckhard, R-Minot, the president pro tempore of the North Dakota Senate.

The committee will choose three finalists for the two openings and forward its choices to Burgum, who will make the appointments. The governor’s picks must be confirmed by the North Dakota Senate to serve on the board.

Aside from the two board choices to be named, the Senate will review Burgum’s Dec. 17 appointment of Dr. John Warford to the board. Warford is a former Bismarck mayor and dean of the business school at the University of Mary. He succeeded Fargo attorney Joseph A. Wetch Jr., who resigned from the board in August.

Sydney Mook has been the managing editor at the Herald since April 2021. In her role she edits and assigns stories and helps reporters develop their work for readers.

Mook has been with the Herald since May 2018 and was first hired as the Herald's higher education reporter where she covered UND and other happenings in state higher education. She was later promoted to community editor in 2019.

For story pitches contact her at or call her at 701-780-1134.
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