Board looks for new members

The University Board of Regents is accepting applications for four of its 12 positions, as of last week. Regent positions are open for the 1st, 4th, 6th, and 7th congressional districts. Applicants must be current residents of one of these districts. Regents serve unpaid six-year terms and work to approve or reject funding allocations, shifts in University policy and presidential appointments and replacements, among other administrative responsibilities. New applicants are reviewed by the Regent Candidate Advisory Council , a 24-member council headed by David Fisher. A good applicant, Fisher said, will need to âÄúbe a good listener and do their homework, understand the âÄòU,âÄô but can think independently.âÄù Fisher said the board will be looking for critical thinkers from diverse backgrounds. John Frobenius is seeking re-appointment as the 6th district regent and said his time on the board was âÄúone of the most exciting and excellent experiencesâÄù of his life. Future regents will be accepting a great amount of responsibility and should be prepared to do their homework, he said. âÄúUnderstand what youâÄôre getting into,âÄù Frobenius said. âÄúYou canâÄôt treat it as a business enterprise.âÄù While on the board, Frobenius tried to adhere to the words of a past regent: âÄúYou donâÄôt manage the University, you nurture it.âÄù David Metzen decided not to seek reappointment to his position as 4th district regent because he has already served two terms, since 1997. He stressed that regents are not management. Newly appointed applicants will have to deal with a large number of commitments and come to understand their boundaries. Turnover, however, is a positive change for the board, Metzen said, adding that new people and ideas are vital to its success. Once applications have been collected, the RCAC selects up to three candidates for recommendation to a joint committee of the Minnesota State Legislature. The committee makes a selection for recommendation to the state House of Representatives and state Senate at large, who vote to approve or reject candidates. There is often discussion over whether the process is too political or not political enough, but Frobenius said he thinks MinnesotaâÄôs method is one of the better in the nation. âÄúSpeaking with 50 to 60 legislators will broaden your sense of accountability [as a regent],âÄù he said. Fisher said applications are traditionally slow coming in, with most arriving in early November, days before the deadline. Two years ago, the deadline had to be pushed back to accommodate late applications. Roughly 35 were received. Each of MinnesotaâÄôs eight congressional districts is represented by one regent, with four additional regents representing the state at-large. Current University students are only eligible for a position as a state at-large regent so no students may apply at this time. Applicants must apply by 4:30 p.m. Nov. 10 and public interviews are scheduled to be conducted by the RCAC in January 2009.