Time for new Regents

A lack of applicants forced an extended deadline for four open positions on the University of Minnesota Board of Regents and the positions closed yesterday. Those three extra days, on top of an original extension of three weeks, should have been enough time to find four competent and qualified individuals willing to help govern the University. The Regents serve for six-year terms, and four of the seats, or a third of the board, are up for election this year. Although three of the Regents, from the 1st, 6th and 7th congressional districts, are running for re-election, itâÄôs time for the Board of Regents to take a new direction. ItâÄôs time to elect new leaders to help lead the University out of the recession and into the future. Some tough policy decisions will be facing the board: tuition increases, when to lift the hiring pause and the salary freeze âÄî or whether to extend them âÄî decisions that must not be made lightly. A 2007 investigation by The Minnesota Daily found the board had passed every measure it voted on between 1994 and 2006, and 98 percent of them unanimously. These were votes that included tuition hikes, the purchase of the stadium land, and decisions about faculty salaries and retention âÄî yet only 16 of 859 measures were contested. But the stakes are much higher in 2008 than they were in 1994. The very notion of attending college is quickly spiraling out of reach for middle-class students. In addition, the stability of the UniversityâÄôs financial future may soon be in limbo, as the consolidated endowment fund continues to dwindle. ItâÄôs time for the rubber-stamping by the Board of Regents to end. We fully support any qualified candidates willing to fight for studentsâÄô best interests in the next six years.