She replaces Duaine Espegard, a retired Grand Forks banker and former state lawmaker.

Kirsten Diederich of Fargo is the new president of the North Dakota Board of Higher Education.

The board elected Diederich on Thursday. Terry Hjelmstad (JELM'-sted) of Minot was named vice president of the board.

The board voted unanimously to elect Diederich and Hjelmstad.

Diederich is a retired Concordia College biology professor. She replaces Duaine Espegard (EHS'-peh-gahrd), a retired Grand Forks banker and former state lawmaker.

The Board of Higher Education has eight voting members. It oversees North Dakota's university system.