With a new president and four new regents on the board, the University of Minnesota’s campus administration has had a busy summer; more developments are sure to come this school year. Here is what you need to know to get caught up:
Four new faces join the Board of Regents
In May, four new regents joined the University’s governing board, three of whom are women. Mary Davenport and Ilean Her now hold two at-large seats while Janie Mayeron and Mike Kenyanya filled the 5th Congressional District seat and the student regent seat, respectively. University regents serve a six-year term and the position is unpaid. The board governs the entire University campus system, even the University’s president.
New Board of Regents leadership selected
At their June meeting, the board confirmed Regent Ken Powell as its chair and Regent Steve Sviggum as its vice chair for the next two years. The board approved the new leaders following interviews conducted earlier by a nominating committee made up of several regents. Powell and Sviggum said they hope to work closely with Gabel as she enters her new position, and want to help her build relationships that she will need across the state with students, faculty, business communities and the legislature.
Joan Gabel becomes first female UMN president
Gabel officially stepped into her new role as the 17th University president on July 1, following Eric Kaler’s 8-year tenure. Gabel has previously served as the provost at the University of South Carolina and the dean of the University of Missouri’s Trulaske College of Business. Gabel said she will work with the regents to establish goals for the University. Gabel has also been tasked to implement a system wide strategic plan to identify priorities for all the system campuses, which is a long-time goal of the University.
The board held a retreat in July, during which Gabel guided discussions about the University’s goals for this year and years to come. Topics discussed at the retreat included diversity and inclusion on campus, student mental health and tuition. Gabel said at the retreat that tuition cannot be raised much more, but some regents said they were open to more increases.
With Gabel stepping in as president, there will be an abundance of administration stories to keep up with this year. Here is a look at some of them:
When: Sept. 20, 9 a.m.
Where: Northrop Auditorium
There will be an installation ceremony for Gabel, and she will then give an inaugural address. After the ceremony, there will be a lunch on Northrop Mall featuring food trucks, a pop-up alumni market and music. Events will be held throughout the week beginning Sept. 16 in a lead up to her inauguration on Sept. 20.
The University’s Board of Regents will hold meetings in September, October and December this fall. We will be covering them all, so be sure to look out for our meeting recaps and any follow-up stories.
Following the announcement of Karen Hanson, the University’s executive vice president and provost’s decision to step down last year, Gabel has been tasked to find her replacement. A 16-member search committee was created, co-chaired by Vice President for Research Chris Cramer and Faculty Consultative Committee Chair Amy Pittenger. Gabel said in campus-wide emails that she met with the search committee in May, and used their discussions and input from listening sessions and open forums to develop a “position profile” that will be used to select applicants. Gabel said the search committee will conduct interviews privately to narrow down candidates. Candidates selected through this process will be invited to campus for public interviews this fall.