Search Committee Members
Dr. Dennis Elbert, Co-Chair, UND Alum
Dennis J. Elbert was appointed Dean of the College of Business and Public Administration (CoBPA) at the University of North Dakota (UND) in July, 1997 and served through May, 2014. A long time UND faculty member, Elbert served as a Professor of Marketing and as Director of the Small Business Institute (SBI) for many years, in which he worked with 20 to 25 businesses each year. He continues to be involved in university and community service, consulting, research and seminar work. Elbert has served or is serving on several Boards of Directors including Noridian Insurance (Blue Cross/Blue Shield of North Dakota), Noridian Administrative Services, Altru Health Systems, United Health Resources, Simmons Advertising, YMCA, Newman Parish, Chamber of Commerce, US Bank Advisory Committee, Cirrus Industries, Northern Lights Executive Council BSA, Edgewood REIT, WPS – Military & Veterans Health Council, Moore Engineering HC, United Way and Gate City Bank. Elbert served on the prestigious international Beta Gamma Sigma Board which is recognized as the highest honor in business education. As Dean Emeritus, he taught graduate courses in leadership and board governance during a phased retirement and fully retired in May 2017.
An enthusiastic and highly motivating speaker and facilitator Elbert has offered over 600+ seminars throughout the Midwest and Canada in the past 25 years. Additionally, Elbert has authored or coauthored more than 75 papers, monographs, textbooks cases and published articles. His journal publications include the Journal of Small Business Management, Journal of Marketing Education, Swiss Journal of Small Business Research, Journal of Professional Services Marketing, American Journal of Business Education and Services Marketing Quarterly.
Elbert has two degrees from UND, a BSBA (‘68) and an MS in Marketing (‘72) and a Ph.D. from the University of Missouri - Columbia (‘76). A veteran of Vietnam and Cambodia Elbert earned a Combat Infantryman Badge (CIB), the Purple Heart, the Bronze Star w/olc, the Army Commendation medal and other military awards. A UND ROTC graduate, Elbert retired from the US Army Reserve as a Lieutenant Colonel in 1996. Both UND Army and Air Force programs reported to Elbert as dean of the CoBPA. In 2014, the UND CoBPA had approximately 1700 undergraduate students and 250 graduate students.. At that time the CoBPA had several international affiliations the largest being with the University of Shanghai Science and Technology (USST).
The college then included nine academic departments of Accounting, Finance, Management, Marketing, Information Systems Business Communication, Political Science/Public Administration, Industrial Technology, Economics and in 2014 had just approved the new School of Entrepreneurship. In addition to business academic programs, the college included the North Dakota Small Business Development Center (SBDC) in partnership with the US Small Business Administration and ND Department of Commerce, the Center for Innovation (CI) and Army and Air Force ROTC programs.
Dr. Casey Ryan, Co-Chair, SBHE Vice Chair
- Grand Forks Central High School
- Colorado College, BA
- University of Colorado Medical School, MD
- Mayo Graduate School of Medicine Internal Medicine Residency, Endocrinology
- Registrar, University of Otago School of Medicine, Dunedin, New Zealand
- President Altru Health System 1997 - 2014
- Current position Endocrinology and Internal Medicine practice at Altru Health System, Grand Forks, ND
- Clinical Professor of Medicine, UNDSOM
- SBHE 7/2017-present
Chancellor Dr. Mark Hagerott, Ex Officio Member, NDUS
Dr. Mark R. Hagerott is Chancellor for the North Dakota University System.
Prior to his move back home to North Dakota, Dr. Hagerott served on the faculty and held numerous academic leadership roles at the United States Naval Academy. He also served as a planning and strategy director in one of the largest U.S. Army educational organizations, NATO Training Mission, which included the Afghanistan army, police, air force, and medical school programs. Hagerott served as distinguished professor and deputy director of the Center for Cyber Security Studies at the Naval Academy and served on the Defense Science Board summer study of unmanned systems 2014-2015. He is a commissioner on the Midwestern Higher Education Compact, and Western Interstate Commission for Higher Education.
Chancellor Hagerott’s research and writing are focused on the evolution of technology, education, and changes in technical career paths, and he is the author of multiple articles and book chapters, with a recent emphasis on unmanned systems. He served as a non-resident cyber Fellow of the New America Foundation, 2015-2017.
Prior to his transition to an academic career path, Hagerott held numerous leadership positions in the U.S. Navy, both aboard ships and in administrative positions in the Department of Defense. A certified naval nuclear engineer in power generation and distribution, he served as chief engineer for a major environmental project defueling of two atomic reactors. Hagerott also ran tactical data networks for the Navy and rose to ship command prior to his career in higher education. He also served in both Bush administrations, as a White House Fellow in the first Bush administration; and in the office of the Deputy Secretary of Defense in the second Bush administration.
Hagerott holds a B.S. from the U.S. Naval Academy, an M.A. in political science and economics from Oxford University where he attended as a Rhodes Scholar, and a Ph.D. in history from University of Maryland.
The chancellor hails from a multi-generation North Dakota family of farmers and energy producers. The Hagerott-Brandenburg family homesteaded in Center and Mandan before statehood, where his father continues work on the fourth-generation farm, and his mother’s family came with the first Bakken oil boom.
President Dr. Brian Van Horn, Ex Officio Member, Mayville State University
Dr. Brian Van Horn serves as president of Mayville State University. Van Horn perviously served as associate provost at Murray State University in Murray, Kentucky.
Van Horn holds two degrees from Murray State University, a Bachelor of Science and Master of Public Administration. He earned a doctorate in leadership and policy studies from the University of Memphis. He believes strongly in access to education and has grown Murray State through many distance learning avenues. He has served at Murray State in various capacities including campus director, assistant dean, dean, Student Government Association president and also served on Murray State University’s Board of Regents for two terms.
Steve Burian, UND Alum
Steve L. Burian, PE is a Senior Consultant and former Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Advanced Engineering and Environmental Services, Inc. (AE2S), a firm he co-founded in Grand Forks in 1991 while in graduate school. AE2S has grown from a two-person environmental and civil engineering firm to a 275-person multi-disciplinary firm with established offices throughout the Upper Midwest and upper Rocky Mountain Region. The firm’s entrepreneurial spirit has driven the creation of a number of sister companies, including AE2S Nexus, AE2S Construction, AE2S Operations, AE2S Industrial, and AE2S Water Solutions. Steve has devoted his career to consulting for drinking water and wastewater systems and is a recognized leader in the industry. He has received several regional and national awards recognizing his leadership and dedication to the water industry and engineering profession.
Steve served on the Grand Forks Region Economic Development Corporation Board of Directors from 2008-2017, which included a term as Vice-Chair, two terms as Chair, and a term as Past Chair. He currently serves as the Co-Chair of the Valley Prosperity Partnership and the Vice Chair of the University of North Dakota (UND) College of Engineering and Mines Executive Board. He served on the Board of the UND Alumni Association and Foundation, Governor’s Main Street Initiative Healthy/Vibrant Communities Task Force, North Dakota Legacy Fund Initiative Committee, and the North Dakota Governor’s 2020 & Beyond Advisory Committee. Other leadership and advisory positions have been held with the American Water Works Association, the City of Grand Forks, and the UND.
Steve earned a Bachelor of Science and Master of Engineering in Civil Engineering from UND. He was also a four-year letter winner in track and field while attending UND.
Howard Dahl, UND Alum
Along with his service as Trustee of the Trinity Forum, Howard Dahl is President and CEO of Amity Technology, LLC. Amity manufactures sugar beet equipment, and is the leader in North America and Russia in harvesting equipment for sugar beets. Amity also produces a wide variety of planting and tillage equipment in its 50/50 JV with AGCO. Amity Technology is, in a sense, a fourth generation company. It follows in the proud tradition of a family that has been involved in the manufacturing business in North Dakota for more than 60 years. Howard and Brian Dahl, the founders of Amity, are grandsons of E. G. Melroe, the founder of the Melroe Company, which developed the Bobcat Loader.
After the Melroe Company was sold in 1970, Howard’s and Brian’s father, Eugene Dahl, and his brother-in-law, Les Melroe, bought control of Steiger Tractor. It became the leading manufacturer of 4-wheel drive tractors in the world, and was sold to Case Corporation in 1986.
In 1977, Howard and Brian Dahl incorporated Concord, Inc., which became the U.S. leading manufacturer of Air Drills, used primarily for the planting of small grains and oil seed crops on large acreage. Concord had a particularly strong market in the former Soviet Union and sold over 500 Concord Air Drills into that marketplace. Concord, Inc. was sold to Case Corporation in 1996.
The day Concord was sold, Amity was formed. Amity Technology produces the world’s leading soil sampling equipment sold in more than 25 different countries of the world.
In 2001, Howard and Brian Dahl bought 50% of Wil-Rich, a tillage manufacturer in Wahpeton, North Dakota. In 2006, they bought 50% of Wishek, a tillage manufacturer in Wishek, North Dakota. Amity entered the air seeding equipment business in 2007. Amity Technology has sold over $150 million of product into the former Soviet Union and has assisted many other companies in entering this market. In January 2011, a 50/50 joint venture was formed with AGCO that included Wil-Rich and Wishek tillage equipment and Amity planting and seeding equipment. Howard is also CEO of the joint venture, AGCO-Amity JV, LLC.
Howard received his B.S. degree in Business Administration from the University of North Dakota, and completed graduate work in philosophy at University of Florida. Dahl has a M.A. in Philosophy of Religion from Trinity Evangelical Divinity School.
Mr. Dahl currently serves on several boards including the Center of Innovation at the University of North Dakota, Russian American Endowment Fund, and LongWater Opportunities Private Equity Fund. He is Vice Chairman of the Board of Regents at Trinity International University, and former Director of the Federal Reserve Board, Bank of Minneapolis. Howard and wife Ann have three children, Jonathan, Stephanie and Andrew.
Joshua DeMorrett, UND Alum
Josh DeMorrett is the Director of Stakeholder Relations with ConocoPhillips Company responsible for assets in Montana, North Dakota and Wyoming. His tenure began with ConocoPhillips in 2010 where he has served in positions in both operations and in Health and Safety. Josh is a strong advocate for North Dakota and communities across the state. He currently serves on the board of directors for the Greater North Dakota Chamber of Commerce, North Dakota Petroleum Foundation, is a member of the Industry Advisory Council for the Department of Petroleum Engineering at UND and is past president of the Watford City Area Chamber of Commerce.
Josh is a native of Rhame, North Dakota and he earned his bachelor’s degree from the University of North Dakota in May of 2008.
Josh and his wife Amanda (UND-Masters of Education ‘13) live in Dickinson with their son Brayden (16) and three beagles. In his spare time, he enjoys attending his son’s activities, camping and fishing, traveling and following his favorite teams (anything UND, Minnesota Vikings and the Colorado Rockies).
Gracie Lian, UND Student Body President
Gracie Lian is entering her junior year at the University of North Dakota and is studying Political Science and English. She is serving as UND’s Student Body President for the 2019-2020 school year and has been actively involved in student government at both the state and campus level since her freshman year.
A Grand Forks native, she has been going to UND hockey games with her family all of her life and knows the importance of UND in the Greater Grand Forks community. Her other involvements at UND include being a member of Alpha Kappa Psi, the co-ed business professional fraternity on campus, and playing the bass clarinet in UND’s Wind Ensemble
Whitney Maine, UND Staff Senate President, UND Staff
Whitney Maine is a Study Abroad Advisor and alum of the University of North Dakota Master in Educational Leadership program. She is originally from Luverne, Minnesota, and she pursued a Communication Studies and Spanish degree at Hamline University in Saint Paul, Minnesota, for her undergraduate studies. Her experience studying Spanish in Chile drew her to her current position and inspires her passion for encouraging current UND students to study or intern in other countries.
Whitney is serving as Staff Senate President at UND and is dedicated to advocating for staff and supporting our campus community.
Dr. Daphne Pedersen, UND Faculty
Dr. Daphne Pedersen, Professor of Sociology, joined the UND faculty in 2004. A first-generation college student from Salt Lake City, she earned her undergraduate (B.S., Sociology, University of Utah) and doctoral degrees (Ph.D., Sociology, Utah State University) in Utah, and master’s degree (M.A., Sociology, Minnesota State University – Mankato) in Minnesota. Her research focuses on gender, the sociology of health, and how work and stress processes shape individual well-being. Dr. Pedersen serves as the Department Chair of Sociology and is the current President of Alpha Kappa Delta, the international sociology honor society.
She and her husband, also a UND professor, have four children. She enjoys running and cycling along the Red River, hiking, camping, and going to the public library.
Dr. Paul Todhunter, UND University Senate President, UND Faculty
Dr. Paul Todhunter is Professor of Geography in the Department of Geography and Geographic Information Science at the University of North Dakota. He earned his B.A. (Geography-Ecosystems), M.A. (Geography) and Ph.D. degrees (Geography) at UCLA.
He joined the faculty at UND in the fall of 1989, and has engaged in teaching, research, mentoring and service for thirty years under six UND presidents. He is the current Chair of the University Senate, and has served as Chair of the Geography Department and Chair of the Graduate Committee. His research has focused primarily on climate, water, and environment hazard topics within North Dakota.
His wife of 35 years, Debbie, is an R.N. at Altru Health Systems, and they have four children – Nathan, Emily, Ryan, and Rachel – who were all raised and educated in Grand Forks. Having grown up in Southern California, he has a strong appreciation for the special place that is North Dakota, and a deep appreciation for the State’s commitment to quality, affordable public education.
DeAnna Carlson Zink, UND Alumni Association & Foundation
DeAnna Carlson Zink, a 1986 UND graduate, has worked in higher-ed non-profit for 30 years and has been the CEO of UND Alumni Association & Foundation since January 2014. Prior to her time as CEO, she served as the Campaign Director for the $324 million North Dakota Spirit Campaign from 2007 through its completion in 2013. In addition, from 2003 until December 2013, she served as the organization’s Chief Development Officer and Associate Executive Vice President, including 3 years also as the Development Officer for the College of Business & Public Administration. From 2001 until 2003, she was the Director of Alumni Relations & Marketing. From 1986 to 1998, DeAnna served the organization in various capacities, including special events coordinator, annual drive coordinator, and affinity and campaign development officer. She has also served as regional marketing manager for Bremer Bank.
She served 6 years on the executive board and two years as president of the Association of Fundraising Professionals, Great Plains Chapter and now serves in the capacity of Past President. She is a Certified Fund Raising Executive (CFRE). Her previous board memberships include: Chester Fritz Auditorium Advisory Council, Grand Forks Public School District School Board (2 terms as VP), Grand Forks Chamber of Commerce, Sharon Lutheran Church, and Toastmasters.
DeAnna and her husband, Wayne, have five children and seven grandchildren.