A new spot has opened on the State Board of Higher Education after its newest appointee resigned last month.

Fargo attorney Joseph Wetch, appointed to the board on July 1, resigned from the position on Aug. 20. In a letter to Gov. Doug Burgum, Wetch said he resigned due to “unforeseen circumstances.”

The resignation letter of Joseph Wetch from the State Board of Higher Education.
The resignation letter of Joseph Wetch from the State Board of Higher Education.

The resignation was effective immediately.

Wetch had replaced longtime board member Don Morton, who finished his second, four-year term on the board at the end of June. Wetch’s resignation leaves that seat open again.

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State Superintendent Kirsten Baesler on Wednesday, Sept. 9, asked North Dakotans to consider applying for the opening, a job she called “a rewarding commitment to public service.”

“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.”

The governor appoints members of the higher-ed board.

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 dpipa@nd.gov, 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.

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