- Associated Press - Thursday, February 19, 2015

BISMARCK, N.D. (AP) - A nominating committee has named three finalists for a vacant seat on the state Board of Higher Education.

The committee has chosen Alice Hoffert, of Grand Forks; James Odermann, of Belfield; and Mike Ness, of Hazen. Hoffert is a retired University of North Dakota administrator. Odermann is a rancher and owner of a public relations firm. Ness is school superintendent in Hazen.

Gov. Jack Dalrymple will choose one of them to replace departed board Chairwoman Kirsten Diederich and serve the remainder of her term, which expires June 30, 2018. The state Senate must confirm the choice.

Diederich resigned last month after some lawmakers threatened to block her confirmation for a second term. Seven people applied for her seat.

The Higher Education board oversees the state’s 11 public colleges and universities.

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