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NDUS Home  |  State Board of Higher Education  |  SBHE Members

SBHE Members

Kathleen Neset

Kathleen Neset
Kathleen Neset is President of Neset Consulting Service, Inc., which provides well site geologic/geosteering services to the oil industry since 1980. She received a B.A. in Geology from Brown University and then went to work as a seismologist in Michigan. Neset worked for Core Laboratories in Texas and Wyoming. In 1979 she moved to North Dakota pursuing work as an independent petroleum geologist. She is owner of Neset Farms and formerly worked as a Tioga High School science teacher, a Tioga school board member and a substitute business manager at Tioga High School. Currently she manages wellsite geology and mudlogging crews throughout the Bakken and Northern Rockies Region.

Kathleen is a member of the American Association of Petroleum Geologist, Williston API, Dickinson API, North Dakota Petroleum Council Board of Directors, Bush Foundation, BSC Petroleum Technology Advisory Committee, UND Petroleum Engineering Advisory Committee, Tioga Golf & Country Club board, and St. Thomas Parish Council Secretary.

Appointed to the board June 20, 2012 filling a vacancy and confirmed by the State Senate, Neset's term will expire June 30, 2017.

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Don Morton
Vice Chair

Don Morton
Don Morton was named to the State Board of Higher Education for a four-year term starting July 1, 2012.

Don Morton is a senior director within Microsoft and a part of Microsoft Business Solutions (MBS), a group that develops the Microsoft Dynamics Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) and Customer Relationship Management (CRM) software solutions.

Don has three major areas of responsibility: (1) Leading the global Microsoft Dynamics Academic Alliance team. (2) Leading a team responsible for the Executive Briefing Center (EBC) on the Microsoft campus in Fargo, ND, and working closely with the Microsoft sales teams with a focus on the Dynamics ERP and Dynamics CRM. (3)Site leader for the Microsoft campus in Fargo which has more than 1,700 employees.Prior to joining Microsoft, Don was the assistant to the president and director of university relations at North Dakota State University. He has a coaching background, serving as the head football coach at the University of Wisconsin, at the University of Tulsa and at North Dakota State University where he won four conference championships and one national championship. He also was named national coach of the year in 1983.

Don is a native of Flint, Michigan. He earned a B.A. in Psychology at Augustana College in Rock Island, Ill. and a master's in education from Western Illinois University.

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Nick Hacker

Nick Hacker
Nicholas P. Hacker began his term of service with the State Board of Higher Education July 1, 2015.

Hacker has served as the president of the North Dakota Guaranty and Title Company in Bismarck, N.D., for three years. There he leads the state's largest title insurance and real estate closing company with 100 employees across 10 locations.

Prior to his current role Hacker worked as the state government affairs manager for the American Land Title Association and the business development manager for Marcil Group, Inc. In 2004 he made history by being the youngest person elected to a state senate where he served North Dakota's District 42 for four years.

A native of Bismarck, N.D., Hacker holds a Bachelor of Business Administration in managerial finance from the University of North Dakota. He holds a certificate in legislative leadership from Bowhay Institute. He has held membership in the Rotary Club of Williston (past secretary), American Land Title Association, N.D. Land Trust Association, Greater N.D. Chamber of Commerce, N.D. Association of Builders, N.D. Association of Realtors, N.D. Bankers Association, and Independent Community Banks of North Dakota.

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Brett Johnson

Brett Johnson is a current senior at the University of North Dakota pursuing a Bachelor's of Science degree in biology with a premed emphasis.

Johnson is currently involved with the North Dakota Student Association, is president of Phi Delta Theta Fraternity, is a member of the Varsity Gentlemen a cappella group, biochemistry club, and Phi Beta Kappa honor society. He was also involved with Student Government.

Johnson volunteered with Walk to Defeat ALS, North Dakota Special Olympics, and Sanford Children's Hospital. During his time with the Student Government, he worked with the City of Grand Forks and UND on varied initiatives.

He was appointed as the 2015-16 student member of the State Board of Higher Education by Gov. Jack Dalrymple. His one-year term will end June 30, 2016.

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Kevin Melicher

Kevin Melicher, OD, Fargo, N.D., is an optometrist at Eyecare Associates, P.C. who specializes in contact lenses, sports vision and refractive surgery consultations. Melicher attended North Dakota State University while completing his pre-optometry coursework and holds a doctor of optometry degree from the Illinois College of Optometry.

Melicher is no stranger to higher education. He's been the Team Optometrist for NDSU Athletics since 1982, and served as an adjunct assistant professor of optometry at both Illinois College of Optometry and Pacific University College of Optometry. He also served on the Fargo School Board for eight years, including terms as board president, treasurer and negotiations leader, and as a member of the North Dakota Board of Optometry from 2011-2014. Melicher was named the 2013 North Dakota Optometrist of the Year and earned the Dakota Medical Foundation Star Award in 2014.

Appointed to the board by Gov. Dalrymple on May 20, 2014, Melicher's term will run from July 1, 2014 through June 30, 2018.

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Mike Ness

Mike Ness, Hazen, N.D. is the Superintendent of the Hazen School District where he has been employed for twelve years. Ness received his Bachelor of Science degree in education from North Dakota State University. In 1980, he earned his Masters of Science in Education Administration degree from North Dakota State University. Ness has been involved in K-12 education as a teacher, principal, and superintendent in the Verona, Stanton, Center, Bottineau, and Hazen school systems during the last 42 years. He brings a K-12 educator connection to the board along with his vast knowledge and professional experience. He will retire as Superintendent of the Hazen School on June 30, 2015.

Appointed to the board February 26, 2015 filling a vacancy, Ness's term will expire June 30, 2018.

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Kari Reichert

Kari Reichert
Kari Reichert, Bismarck, N.D., is Vice President of People Services at Mandan-based National Information Solutions Cooperative (NISC), an information technology cooperative that develops and supports software and hardware solutions for rural utility and telephone cooperatives in 47 states and Canada. In that capacity, Kari is responsible for employee relations, including employee compensation and benefits, recruitment, retention, and employee engagement, talent management, human resources policies, and corporate wellness.

Kari is a native of Dickinson, N.D. She received a bachelor's degree in Economics and Political Science from the University of Minnesota and a juris doctorate from Yale Law School. Prior to joining NISC, Kari was in private practice with the Vogel Law Firm in Bismarck, N.D. , where her practice included commercial litigation, health care law, employment law, natural resources law, and contract disputes. Kari is licensed to practice in North Dakota and Missouri, and is a member of the State Bar Association of North Dakota and the Big Muddy Bar Association.

Appointed to the board August 3, 2012 filling a vacancy and confirmed by the State Senate, Reichert's term will expire June 30, 2017.

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Greg Stemen

Greg Stemen
Greg Stemen began his term of service with the State Board of Higher Education July 1, 2015.

Stemen currently serves as the branch manager of First Community Credit Union Oakes, N.D. Prior to that position he served as the president and branch manager of the First State Bank of North Dakota in LaMoure, N.D.

Stemen previously served as a lending officer at Great Plains National Bank and as a physician recruiter at MedCenter One. Before that, he was the winningest coach in the history of the Southwest Minnesota State University's men's basketball program. Stemen also does color analysis for college basketball games on Midco Sports Network.

A resident of Fort Ransom, N.D., Stemen holds a Bachelor of Science in mathematics education from Valley City State University and a Master's of Education in educational leadership from Southwest Minnesota State University. Currently, Stemen is a member of the Fort Ransom City Council. He has held membership on the North Dakota Bankers Association Ag-Lending Committee, the Dakota School of Banking Advisory Board, and served as a board member for LaMoure Community Development and for St. Rose Care Center in LaMoure. He has also been president of the Fort Ransom Community Club, president of Litchville-Marion Dollars for Scholars, treasurer for Grace United Methodist Church, and was also a member of the National Association of Basketball Coaches NCAA II Congress.

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Emma Tufte
Staff Adviser

Emma Tufte
Emma Tufte, Valley City, N.D., is the Administrative and Assessment Assistant for the School of Education and Graduate Studies at Valley City State University, where she has been since Feb. 1, 2010. Prior to that she worked at the Open Door Center in Valley City and at the North Dakota Winter Show.

Tufte received her Bachelor of Arts in History from the University of Jamestown in 2008 and her Masters of Education in Teaching and Technology from VCSU in 2014.

She also serves as the secretary for the Sheyenne Valley Chapter of the North Country Trail.

She was elected by the State Staff Senate on Jan. 26, and will serve a one year term that started July 1. She serves as the Staff Advisor to the State Board of Higher Education.

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Eric Murphy
Faculty Adviser

Eric Murphy
Eric Murphy, Ph.D., Grand Forks, N.D., is an associate professor with tenure in the Department of Basic Sciences at the University of North Dakota. In addition to his work at UND, he is also the editor-in-chief of Lipids, a journal of the American Oil Chemists' Society, as well as the chief scientific officer and executive vice president for research and development for biotechnology company Agragen, LLC and its subsidiary, Unicrop, OY, located in Finland.

Murphy holds a bachelor's degree from Hastings College and a Ph.D. from The Ohio State University. He has 25 years of experience in research and laboratory science holding multiple positions at educational institutions and corporations, including stints as lead research scientist at Cypros Pharmaceutical Corporation and laboratory director at BrainChemTech Corporation. Murphy is a member of multiple professional societies and has had his work published in over 100 publications.

Murphy was elected by the Council of College Faculties to serve as the faculty adviser on the board. His one-year term will run from July 1, 2015 through June 30, 2016.

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