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Eleven candidates recommended to Governor Pawlenty for final consideration for Board of Regents of the University of Minnesota
January 29, 2007

Saint Paul, MN - January 10, 2007- The Regent Candidate Advisory Council (RCAC) voted today to recommend 11 candidates to Governor Pawlenty for final consideration of election to the Board of Regents of the University of Minnesota.  By February 15, the Governor must submit to the House-Senate joint committee a slate of regent nominations.  The slate must name one nominee for each vacancy.

The four open regent seats to be filled include; one in the fifth congressional district, two at-large, and one student at-large.  All appointments will be for full six-year terms.

The RCAC received a total of 145 applications for the four positions. It interviewed 20 applicants.  Finalists recommended to the Governor are (in alphabetical order):

    Fifth Congressional District:  Peter Bell, Pat O’Connor, and Jacob Sullivan

    At-Large:  Linda Cohen, John Derus, Rondi Erickson, Dean Johnson, and Cynthia Lesher

    Student At-Large:  Stephen Barrows, Maureen Cisneros, and Venora Hung

The council was created by the Legislature in 1988 and is responsible to recruit, screen, and recommend regent candidates to the Governor.  State law requires that a minimum of two and a maximum of four names be forwarded for each open position. The council’s 24 members are appointed by the Legislature. 

The University of Minnesota Board of Regents is the governing body of the University of Minnesota. Its 12 members are elected and serve without pay.  Eight members represent the state’s congressional districts, and four members are elected at large, as is a student representative.  The student member must be enrolled in a degree program at the University of Minnesota at the time of election.  The six-year terms are staggered so that four regent positions come up for appointment every two years.

“The 145 citizens who submitted applications are to be commended for their willingness to volunteer their time and talents in this critically important governance role.  While the breadth of experience and expertise of applicants made the process of elimination extremely difficult, the council is confident that it selected an exemplary group of candidates for the Governor’s consideration.  If elected by the Legislature, they will serve the University with distinction.  All of the applicants should be commended for their willingness to serve the University of Minnesota as a Regent.”
– Bob Vanasek, RCAC Chair