Regents should keep on talking

Reassuringly, some Regents are speaking up for change.

Regents at the University of Minnesota are speaking up more often than they have in the past to change some of the administrationâÄôs proposals, which is a positive development that should continue in the future. During the Board of RegentsâÄô discussion of University president Eric KalerâÄôs proposed budget at its June meeting, Regent Michael Hsu said he wanted administrators to consider axing the planned tuition increase in favor of a tuition freeze using internal funds. Hsu also sparked disagreement âÄî which can be a rare thing in regents meetings âÄî when he said at the July meeting that the board should delay approving the UniversityâÄôs revised sexual consent policy to allow for further discussion. Although Kaler agreed to postpone the policyâÄôs start date, he said he thought the board shouldnâÄôt be quite so active. Traditionally, the board has unanimously approved nearly all the administrationâÄôs proposals. Now, as three new regents join the ranks after their election earlier this year, those leaders and others are saying itâÄôs time to get more vocal. Although KalerâÄôs budget eventually passed with the tuition hikes intact, and although it remains to be seen whether further discussion on the consent policy will create any changes, an active group of regents holding administrators accountable is a boon to students, who sometimes lack the resources or sway to advocate for themselves. We feel it is not an overreach for regents to take a critical stance on important issues, and we encourage them to continue to do so.