Regent’s unusual choice puts

by Stacy Jo

In an unexpected move, the Regents Candidate Advisory Council on Tuesday omitted one familiar name from its recommendations to the Legislature for candidates for the Board of Regents.
Regent Julie Bleyhl, who was elected to the board by the Legislature in 1993, was markedly absent from the list of 10 candidates recommended to fill four available regent positions. While Bleyhl could technically still be appointed to the board by other means, her tenure as regent will most likely end as a result of the omission.
No reasons were offered for Bleyhl’s omission. Bleyhl was unavailable for comment.
The council instead recommended Dallas Bohnsack and Rholan Larson for Bleyhl’s second congressional district seat.
The Board of Regents is the primary governing body of the University. Regents are selected for the unpaid position by the state Legislature for six-year terms. One regent is chosen from each of Minnesota’s eight congressional districts; four more are selected to fill at-large seats.
Selection council members did recommend reappointing, among other candidates, incumbents William Hogan II of the third district and William Peterson, an at-large candidate. Regent Tom Reagan, who represents the eighth district, chose not to re-apply for the position.
Humphrey Doermann, selection council chairman, said omitting an incumbent like Bleyhl from the list of candidates is a rare occurrence. But because council members vote on candidates by secret ballot, Doermann said it would be difficult to speculate why members did not choose Bleyhl.
“We thought it was a strong field, and that we had four good candidates” for Bleyhl’s seat, Doermann said. “We chose two that seemed most likely to do the best job as regent in the next four years.”
He added that he did not get the impression that any members were unhappy with Bleyhl’s performance as a regent.
Council members select between two and four candidates from each district. Members chose to forward two candidates from the second district; Bleyhl was recommended third out of the four total candidates.
However, not obtaining a council recommendation does not place her entirely out of the running.
Before the final selection, a senator or representative will often nominate a candidate who is not included on the council’s list of recommendations. If this was to happen, Bleyhl could be a strong candidate for nomination, selection council member Rebecca Mathern said.
Legislators are expected to make final selections in February.