Burgum names 14 to Higher Education Governance Task Force

Dec 22, 2017

Credit Prairie Public file

Gov. Doug Burgum has made 14 appointments to the Higher Education Governance Task Force.

Among the 14 are four state Legislators.

Sen. Brad Bekkedahl (R-Williston) said he applied to be on the task force because higher education is important to the northwestern part of North Dakota.  Bekkedahl said he has no preconceived notions about governance.

"The model last changed about 80 years ago," Bekkedahl said. "It's probably not a bad thing to look at it."

Bekkedahl said it doesn't mean there will be changes. But he said there could be down the road.

"I'm anxious to be involved in the process of understanding the history, and looking for ways to do things better if we need to," Bekkedahl said.

Rep. Shannon Roers Jones (R-Fargo) said she wanted to be on the task force because she would bring an “outside” perspective, since she isn’t connected to any of the 11 public colleges and universities.

Roers Jones said she does see something in the governance model that might need some tweaking.

"Right now, the way it is set up, with one Chancellor, with all the different University presidents under the Chancellor, seems to be a very adversarial system," Roers Jones said. "I would like to look at some different models, where you have some more localized leadership, making decisions for the individual University."

The other state Legislators on the panel are Rep. Mike Nathe (R-Bismarck) and Senate Minority Leader Joan Heckaman (D-New Rockford).

Others on the task force:

  • North Dakota Supreme Court Chief Justice Gerald VandeWalle, who under the state Constitution is a member of the State Board of Higher Education nominating committee. VandeWalle earned a bachelor’s degree from the University of North Dakota and a law degree from the UND School of Law.
  • State Board of Higher Education Chairman Don Morton, a retired Microsoft executive and former head coach of the North Dakota State University football team. Morton earned a bachelor’s degree from Augustana College in Rock Island, Ill., and a master’s degree in education from Western Illinois University.
  • Dr. Ellie Shockley, institutional research analyst at Bismarck State College and a former postdoctoral fellow at the University of Nebraska Public Policy Center. Shockley earned a bachelor’s degree from Duke University and master’s and doctoral degrees in social psychology from the University of Chicago.
  • Dr. Paul Markel, professor of psychology at MSU and former president of the Council of College Faculties. Markel earned a bachelor’s degree from the University of Mary in Bismarck and master’s and doctoral degrees in psychology from the University of Colorado Boulder.
  • Dr. Angie Koppang, vice president of quality assurance for AdvancED, a nonprofit that conducts reviews of educational institutions and systems. Koppang earned an associate’s degree from BSC, a bachelor’s degree from the University of Mary and a master’s degree and doctoral degree in philosophy from UND.
  • Jonathan Sickler of Grand Forks, chief legal officer for AE2S, an environmental and civil engineering consulting firm. Sickler earned a bachelor’s degree from UND and a law degree from Harvard Law School.
  • Tim Flakoll, provost of Tri-College University in Fargo-Moorhead, current chairman of the Midwestern Higher Education Compact and a former state senator. Flakoll earned bachelor’s and master’s degrees from NDSU and graduated from executive programs at Harvard Kennedy School of Executive Education and the University of Oxford in England.
  • Thomas Erickson, CEO of the Energy & Environmental Research Center at UND. Erickson earned bachelor’s and master’s degrees in chemical engineering from UND.
  • Jeffry Volk, president and CEO of West Fargo-based Moore Engineering Inc. Volk earned a bachelor’s degree in civil engineering from NDSU.
  • Katie Mastel of Bismarck, a marketing major and student body vice president at NDSU.