Regent search down to 9

The Legislature will make its selection for the Board of Regents seats Feb. 16.

Anna Weggel

An advisory council selected nine finalists Wednesday to recommend to the State Legislature for the University’s Board of Regents.

The Regent Candidate Advisory Council chose the finalists from a pool of 17 applicants it interviewed this week. Fifty-eight candidates originally applied.

The Legislature will make its final selection Feb. 16, said Chad Thuet, Legislative Coordinating Commission assistant director.

The board, which is the governing body of the University, has 12 members: eight who serve state congressional districts and four who serve at large. Regents serve six-year terms, and this year, four spots are open on the board.

Thuet said the council was pleased with the candidates it selected.

“It was an excellent pool from which to choose, (with) people from all walks of life and from different experience and different skill sets,” he said.

Regents Chairman David Metzen said that at this point last year, when he ran for re-election to the board, he was happy to make the cut but ready for the “fun to begin.”

“You have to work the halls of the Legislature, sell yourself and get endorsements,” he said.

Metzen said that although the board is losing Regents Maureen Reed and William Hogan, he is happy to get new people on the board.

“We’re going to miss them, but it’s always good to get new people on – it’s part of the process,” he said.

Regent Anthony Baraga, who is running for re-election and is one of the finalists, said it feels good to be through the preliminaries and that he is ready for the election.

“It’s kind of a fun process,” he said. “You get to meet a lot of nice people and get to visit with all of the legislators again.”

Baraga said that if he doesn’t get re-elected, he plans on “getting on with life” and spending more time doing activities he enjoys, such as fishing and golf.

The nine candidates for the board include: Baraga, current Regent Dallas Bohnsack, Bruce Endler, Edward Borowiec, David Larson, Kate Rubin, Steven Hunter, Scott Johnson and Peggy Leppik.