U gets four new regents

The Legislature voted four members to the University’s Board of Regents.

Anna Weggel

After an extensive application process and months of lobbying, the Legislature voted four members to the University’s Board of Regents on Wednesday at the Capitol.

Returning Regents Dallas Bohnsack and Anthony Baraga, along with newly elected Steven Hunter and David Larson, will be joining the board for the next six years.

Regents serve on a voluntary basis. The board serves as the governing body of the University.

Rep. Phyllis Kahn, DFL-Minneapolis, raised a concern during the meeting that four white men were elected, instead of either of the two female candidates.

“The participation of women in high positions is definitely lacking,” Kahn said.

Kahn said she was concerned with the lack of gender and race diversity on the board.

“As one of my colleagues told me afterwards, look at how easy and smooth it is when we put up four white men,” she said. “That’s just what happened.”

Despite the criticism, the new regents have said they are looking forward to working with the University.

Hunter has said he wants to see the University continue to be one of the best research institutions in the country and remain accessible to the people of Minnesota who want to return to school themselves.

He is a University graduate and has been the state political director for the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees.

Hunter has said his input will aid the board because he has a background representing the average working people of the state.

Larson is a board member of the University Foundation and Minnesota Historical Society.

He attended St. Olaf College and the University of the Americas in Mexico. He graduated from the University of Minnesota with a political science degree.

Larson has said the board will benefit from his multicultural experience and global perspective.

During Wednesday’s meeting, at-large candidate Margaret Leppik withdrew her name from the nomination.

Leppik said she was aware her chances were slim and wished to pull out rather than be nominated.

“I have learned from and enjoyed immensely my conversations with legislators,” she said.

Leppik thanked the other candidates and said she knows they will serve the University of Minnesota well.