In mid-March, the Alumni Association (UMAA) wrote about potential legislation affecting how the University’s governing body, the Board of Regents, is selected. Several actions took place recently, and we are now writing to update alumni on current legislation that may come to a vote in the House and Senate in the near future.
The UMAA, which advocates for the University and its alumni with a credible, independent, and collaborative voice, has encouraged legislators serving on the House and Senate Higher Education committees to incorporate transparency, vetting of qualifications, diversity, and a holistic view of the skills and qualifications of Board candidates into the selection process. This ensures the Board as a whole has the strengths and skills necessary to govern a complex, public institution.
Multiple legislative proposals have been debated over the past few weeks and the Higher Education committees passed the following bills on March 20, 2018, which are moving toward action on the floor of the House and Senate chambers.
● Senate Bill SF2611
● House Bill HF3372
If passed and signed into law, this legislation (SF2611/HF3372) would replace the 24 member citizen-based Regent Candidate Advisory Council (RCAC) with an eight member Legislative Commission on Regent Selection. The duties for identifying, recruiting, and recommending qualified Regent candidates would remain the same. The Speaker of the House and the President of the Senate would each appoint four legislators - two from each political party. The House and Senate leaders would alternate every two years appointing the chair of the committee from among the eight members.
The proposed bills enable legislators to nominate new Regent candidates during several stages in the process at the Joint Committee and/or Joint Convention (see overview) without review, consistent with current practice.
The UMAA stands with the residents of Minnesota and the Minnesota State Legislature in their desire for a strong University that will continue to foster innovation and advance economic development for the entire state. We encourage bipartisan collaboration for changing the process and selecting the regents and will continue to stay engaged in the legislative deliberations on the Regent selection process.
If you have further questions about the Regent selection process or proposed changes, please contact Adam Yust, Alumni Advocacy Director, at email@example.com | (612) 625-7526, or connect with your State Legislators, (find legislative contact information here).