20 applicants selected to interview for University of Minnesota Board of Regents

Published 9:00 pm Tuesday, December 15, 2020

Twenty candidates for four vacancies on the University of Minnesota Board of Regents, including one person from Albert Lea, were selected to be interviewed by the Regent Candidate Advisory Council (RCAC) at their meeting Tuesday.

Four of the twelve seats on Board of Regents are open for appointment every two years, each representing a six-year term.  The positions to be filled are from Minnesota’s 1st, 4th, 6th and 7th Congressional districts.

“It’s clear from the quality of candidates who applied this year that there is a lot of passion for the University of Minnesota,” said RCAC Chair Daniel Wolter in a news release. “It is our goal to ensure the Legislature has a robust and diverse list of candidates to consider when they meet to elect Regents in 2021. Thank you to everyone who put their name forward.”

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The RCAC is a 24-member advisory council established by the Minnesota state Legislature to recruit, screen and recommend regent candidates for election by the Legislature. The interviews will be held virtually on Jan. 4-8. They will be streamed for public viewing.

The RCAC must recommend to a joint legislative committee between two and four individuals for each open position on the board. The joint committee selects one candidate for each open position, and submits this slate of candidates for consideration by the full Legislature sitting in joint convention.  Under the Minnesota Constitution, the joint convention elects Regents to the Board.

Following are the names of the candidates to be interviewed by the RCAC for each open regent seat:

First District

Dan Dorman

Val Aarsvold (Altura)

Eunice Biel (Harmony)

Dan Dorman (Albert Lea)

Ruth Johnson (Rochester)

Karen Krause (New Richland)

Randy Simonson (Worthington)

Fourth District

Daryl Alkire (St. Paul)

Devin Driscoll (St. Paul)

James Farnsworth (St. Paul)

Amy Koch (St. Paul)

Don Lifto (St. Paul)

Karen Schanfield (St. Paul)

Rachel Westermeyer (St. Paul)

Sixth District

Neil Franz (Albany)

Dave Hoang (Blaine)

Michael Hsu (Blaine)

Kodi Verhalen (Elk River)

Seventh District

Doug Huebsch (Perham)

Lucas Sjostrom (Brooten)

Michael Yost (Murdock)

Dorman said with his experience as a former legislator, small business owner and an advocate at the Capitol, he is well positioned to help guide the university.

“As a lifelong resident of Minnesota and a graduate of the university, I would consider it to be a great honor to serve on the Board of Regents,” Dorman said. “The University of Minnesota is one of Minnesota’s crown jewels. Not only is it a top-notch educational facility, the research done at the university is an economic driver to our economy.”