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Higher Education Needs You

The candidates for the opening on the North Dakota Board of Higher Education will be from a group of usual suspects, unless people from a variety of interests within the state apply. To that end, people who think they could do a good job on the board should apply. Or, if you know someone who would do a good job, they should be urged to apply.

The deadline is 4 p.m. Aug. 20.

The basic criteria is pretty simple:

* Be an elector and taxpayer.

* Have resided in the state for five years.

* Cannot have been employed by an agency under the control of the board during the past two years.

It's an important job. At stake is the management of North Dakota's university system that encompasses 11 public colleges and universities with a two-year budget of more than $1 billion. It's a job anchored in the present and turned toward the future.

There's an opening because John Korsmo, a Fargo businessman, quit. Interested in a Bush Administration appointment, he didn't have time for the board. The new person would fill out Korsmo's term, which ends June 2003.

Applications can be had from the office of Superintendent of Public Instruction Wayne Sanstead, chairman of the nominating committee.

Inevitably, party, educational and university politics will play into choosing three candidates who will be forwarded to Gov. John Hoeven. However, if enough good applications come in, the playing field may be changed.

The Legislature, rightfully, has given the Board of Higher Education more authority. To fulfill that charge, the board needs strong members, committed to quality education, effective government and accountability. Having good candidates will help get the job done.

-- Ken Rogers for the Tribune

Source: Bismarck Tribune Saturday, July 14, 2001