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Minnesota Legislature

Regent candidates selected

Published (3/6/2009)
By Nick Busse
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The four open seats on the University of Minnesota’s Board of Regents are one step closer to being filled.

The joint House and Senate committee on regent selection voted March 3 to recommend four of the nine finalists for election to the university’s 12-member governing body.

The recommended candidates are:

• from the 1st Congressional District, Patricia Simmons of Rochester, the current board chairwoman;

• from the 4th Congressional District, Richard Beeson of St. Paul;

• from the 6th Congressional District, current regent John Frobenius of St. Cloud: and

• from the 7th Congressional District, Clyde Allen Jr. of Moorhead, current board vice-chairman.

The committee, which comprises the members of the House Higher Education and Workforce Development Finance and Policy Division and the Senate Higher Education Budget and Policy Division, will now make its recommendations to the full House and Senate, which will meet March 9 in a special joint session to formally elect the candidates.

Regents serve without pay for six-year, staggered terms, with one-third of the seats on the board open every two years. The Legislature elects one regent from each of Minnesota’s eight congressional districts and four from the state at large.

At a Feb. 26 meeting, the candidates made their pitch to committee members on why they were best qualified for the job. Eight candidates were recommended by the Regent Candidate Advisory Council, and a ninth, Frobenius, was successfully nominated by Rep. Larry Haws (DFL-St. Cloud).

“I feel personally very torn over several of these seats,” said committee co-chair Sen. Sandy Pappas (DFL-St. Paul), who praised the quality of all the regent candidates.

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