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Diederich elected president of ND higher ed board

FARGO - North Dakota's embattled State Board of Higher Education will soon have a new president.

During a special meeting today on the North Dakota State University campus, current board President Duaine Espegard made a motion to elect current Vice President Kirsten Diederich as the next president and board member Terry Hjelmstad as the vice president.

There was no further discussion, and no other nominations were made. The board voted unanimously to elect Diederich and Hjelmstad.

The board also reconsidered tuition rate increases approved two weeks ago and voted 7-1 to lower the cap. Voting no was board member Kari Reichert.

Under the plan approved today, tuition at NDSU can be raised by a maximum of 3.28 percent each year. The cap would have been 4.23 percent under the plan approved two weeks ago.

With the University of North Dakota, the new cap is 3.72 percent. The cap under the previous plan would have been 4.9 percent.

Board members also decided not to rescind their approval two weeks ago of a proposed aquatics center at NDSU funded by student fees. That motion failed by a vote of 3-5.