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NDUS Home  |  State Board of Higher Education  |  SBHE Members

SBHE Members

Terry Hjelmstad

Terry Hjelmstad
Terry Hjelmstad, Ed.D., Minot, N.D., is a retired high school assistant principal, athletic director, teacher and career education mentor. He served Minot Public Schools in many capacities, beginning in 1973 and ending in 2010.

Hjelmstad's career also includes two years away from Minot when he taught physical education and coached baseball at the University of North Dakota and three years when he was assistant principal at Sunrise Mountain High School and Cactus High School in Peoria, Ariz. Hjelmstad has served on many boards and committees, including the North Dakota High School Athletic Directors Association, the North Dakota High School Activities Association, the North Dakota Sports Hall of Fame Committee and the Norsk Hostfest advisory committee.

A native of Glenburn, N.D., Hjelmstad graduated from Glenburn High School. He earned a bachelor's degree in mathematics in 1967, a master's degree in education administration in 1982 and a doctorate in education administration in 1985, all from the University of North Dakota.

Appointed to the board in 2011, Hjelmstad's term on the board expires June 30, 2015.

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Kathleen Neset
Vice Chair

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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Christopher McEwen

Chris McEwen
Christopher McEwen is a current graduate student at North Dakota State University pursuing a master's degree in applied statistics. He also holds a bachelor of science degree in statistics and psychology from the same university.

McEwen served as president of the Graduate Student Association for the last year where he acted as the primary representative for NDSU graduate students and actively participated in many university committees, as well as Student Government. He is also an active member of the North Dakota Student Association and has served in several different roles during the course of his membership.

Raised on military bases, McEwen attended high school in Minot and resides in Fargo. McEwen is active in the Fargo community, and he currently serves on the boards of directors for the Red River Valley Asperger-Autism Network and the Great Rides Bike Share.

Appointed as the 2014-15 student member of the State Board of Higher Education by Gov. Jack Dalrymple, McEwen will serve a one-year term ending June 30, 2015.

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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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Don Morton

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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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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Grant Shaft

Grant Shaft, Grand Forks, N.D., is an attorney in Grand Forks, N.D. He is an active member of the American Bar Association and the State Bar Associations of North Dakota and Minnesota. He served in the North Dakota House of Representatives from 1986 to 1990.

A native of Grand Forks, Shaft graduated from Red River High School. He received a bachelor's degree from Arizona State University in 1983 and a juris doctorate from the University of North Dakota School of Law in 1986.

Shaft was appointed to the board in 2007, and reappointed in 2011. His term expires June 30, 2015.

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Janice Hoffarth
Staff Adviser

Janice Hoffarth
The North Dakota University System Staff Senate elected Janice Hoffarth, Grand Forks, N.D., to be the 2011-12 staff adviser to the State Board of Higher Education. She was reelected for the 2012-13, 2013-14 and 2014-15 terms.

Hoffarth is an administrative assistant in the University of North Dakota Department of Music. She is the first University System employee to serve in this position, which was created with the passage of HB 1213 by the 2011 Legislative Assembly.

Hoffarth was one of six statewide winners of the 2010 Governor's Award for Excellence in Public Service. She was the 2008-09 UND Staff Senate president. That same year, she was elected the first president of the North Dakota University System Staff Senate.

An Esmond, N.D., native, Hoffarth earned an associate degree in accounting from North Dakota State College of Science. Her term expires June 30, 2015.

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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, 2014 through June 30, 2015.

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