Joan Gabel takes over as University of Minnesota president

Gabel is the 17th and first woman president of the University.

<p>University Joan Gabel visits the Twin Cities campus on Monday, Dec. 10.</p>

Austen Macalus

University Joan Gabel visits the Twin Cities campus on Monday, Dec. 10.

Michelle Griffith

Joan Gabel officially assumed her role as University of Minnesota president Monday, kicking off her presidency with aspirations for Minnesota’s top research university and flagship institution.  

“I’m excited and really awed when I think about the future,” she said in a campuswide video with a smile.

Gabel is the 17th and first woman president of the University. In December, she signed a five-year contract, which includes a $640,000 annual salary. She was the sole finalist chosen by the Board of Regents, and was provost of the University of South Carolina for about four years. 

She has a number of “directional aspirations,” and said she hopes to work with the University community to fulfill them. In the past, Gabel has emphasized the importance of universities addressing student debt and using a collaborative approach to gain insight from staff, faculty and students.

Since January, Gabel has been making monthly trips to Minnesota to meet with University stakeholders and prepare for her impending transition.

“Each and every visit and listening opportunity has confirmed for me how great this university is, how great this state is and how much opportunity there is for us to continue to deepen our impact together for all Minnesotans and beyond,” she said in Monday’s campuswide video.

Her inauguration will be held at Northrop Auditorium on September 20, with a campuswide celebration immediately following the ceremony.