Eight regent candidates remain

The next phase of the University of Minnesota regent selection process will require applicants to play politician until the end of February. The Regent Candidate Advisory Council (RCAC), a committee selected by the Legislature and charged with recruiting and vetting University regents, solicited 31 applications, interviewed 14 people and delivered their list of eight recommendations to the state legislature . Notably absent from that list of recommendations is current Regent John Frobenius. Not recommending an incumbent regent is unusual, but not unprecedented, RCAC chair David Fisher said. However, the committeeâÄôs word is not necessarily the final word. In order to be selected, candidates must convince members of the LegislatureâÄôs joint regent nomination committee that they should be selected. The nomination committee has the option of introducing candidates not recommended by the RCAC. If three house and two senate members on the committee agree that someone should be considered as a candidate, they can introduce them to the committee as a candidate. Frobenius said he hasnâÄôt decided if he will pursue his candidacy any further. Fisher said Frobenius was not selected because other candidates were stronger according to RCACâÄôs selection criteria. Frobenius said he thinks he has been an effective regent, and is disappointed that the committee did not recommend him. The committee must meet by Feb. 28 and will select four candidates for approval by a joint convention of the Legislature. Other candidates have varying opinions of the application process. Kjell Bergh, a 6th District candidate, said he finds it odd that after being asked by the RCAC to apply, he needs to make such an effort if he wants to serve. âÄúIâÄôm more than willing to serve, if asked,âÄù he said, âÄúbut I have no intention of running a full-time political campaign.âÄù Richard Beeson, a 4th District candidate, said he has been energized by the process, and going through it has made him a better candidate . Both Bergh and Beeson said they intend to meet with party leaders and members of the committee to discuss their qualifications. Regents are elected for six-year terms. They are not paid, and their responsibilities usually require about 40 hours of their time each month.