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Four regent seats open for 2005

The University’s Board of Regents has four open seats to fill, and the deadline for applicants is quickly approaching.

The positions are opening on the 12-member board in 2005, and applications for the position are due Monday. Regents serve in a volunteer capacity for six-year terms.

The board is the governing body of the University. Regents are responsible for appointing the University’s president and approving major policies and budgets.

Sandy Keene, staff to the Regent Candidate Advisory Council, said that as of Thursday afternoon, 16 people had applied for the open seats. The council recommends candidates to the State Legislature for appointment.

In 2003, the council received 66 applications after a two-week extended deadline because of a lack of applicants. In 2001, the council received 134 applications.

Keene said this year’s small pool of applicants is not alarming, because many candidates apply the day of the deadline.

In 2003, Keene said, the number of applications doubled during the final days.

Regent Chairman David Metzen also said the lack of applications was not a cause for alarm.

He said applications typically “flood” in on the last day. This week, Metzen said, he received three calls inquiring about the open seats.

Applications might be down this year from previous years because of the budget problems the state and University are facing, he said.

“It’s more fun when you’re doing positive things,” he said.

A good understanding of governance and the board’s role are needed to be a strong candidate, Metzen said.

A balance between genders and diversities is also ideal, he said.

The Legislature elects one regent from each of Minnesota’s eight congressional districts and four from the state at large. One of the four at-large regents must be a University student at the time of election.

Terms are staggered, with one-third of the board up for election every two years.

Regents whose terms expire in 2005 are Dallas Bohnsack, of the 2nd District; Anthony Baraga, of the 8th District; William Hogan, of the 3rd District; and Maureen Reed, who serves at large.

Bohnsack said he and Baraga will reapply for second terms. Reed, who has served two terms, will not return for personal reasons.

Hogan declined to comment when asked if he would reapply. He has served two terms.

Although there is not a written policy that states regents can only serve two terms, it is unusual to do more than that, Keene said.

Regents can run for more than two terms, but the advisory council will not consider or endorse them, she said.

The Legislature does not have to appoint candidates whom the council recommends, but Keene said the Legislature has typically appointed candidates from the council’s recommendations.

The Legislature will make its selections during the last week of January.

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