University Regent Patricia Simmons resigns

Simmons had been on the Board since 2003.

Regent Patricia Simmons speaks during a Board of Regents meeting on July 8, 2015.

Christopher Wakefield

Regent Patricia Simmons speaks during a Board of Regents meeting on July 8, 2015.

Michelle Griffith

Patricia Simmons announced her resignation from the University of Minnesota’s Board of Regents Wednesday morning.

She plans to leave the board this spring, and either Gov. Mark Dayton or the Minnesota Legislature will appoint someone to fill her seat, said Regent Darrin Rosha.

In a press release Wednesday, the University said it anticipates a joint convention of the state Legislature to elect Simmons’ replacement.

Simmons was first elected in 2003. She is the longest tenured regent to hold a seat on the board, and served 15 years — an unprecedented commitment in this modern time, Rosha said. The remaining longest-tenured regents are Linda Cohen and Dean Johnson, who were both elected in 2007.

“I think losing Pat will be a real loss … She was a very very wonderful board member and will be a great loss to the [University],” Regent Steven Sviggum said. “She will be missed.”

Simmons is a retired physician, executive and professor. She was the founding chair of the Division of Pediatric and Adolescent Gynecology at the Mayo Clinic. She has served in multiple leadership roles, including Chair of the Board of Regents for two years. Simmons currently serves as the vice chair of the Mission Fulfillment Committee.

“Serving the University of Minnesota has been a great privilege,” Simmons said in a news release Wednesday morning. “The University is an extraordinary institution of inestimable value to the people of Minnesota, and in fact is a great asset to the nation and the world.”