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New regents elected

Published (3/13/2009)
By Nick Busse
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Clyde Allen, Jr., from left, John Frobenius, and Patricia Simmons are recognized in the House Gallery March 9 after being re-elected to the University of Minnesota Board of Regents.  Richard Beeson was also elected to the university’s governing body. (Photo by Andrew VonBank)The University of Minnesota’s Board of Regents will have one new member and three returning members starting this week.

In a special joint floor session March 9, House and Senate members elected four individuals to fill open seats on the 12-member board, which serves as the university’s governing body. The regents-elect, who begin their terms March 12, are:

• from the 1st Congressional District, Patricia Simmons of Rochester (currently chairwoman of the board);

• 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, current board vice chair Clyde Allen Jr. of Moorhead.

Regents voluntarily serve staggered six-year terms, with four seats open every two years. One regent is elected for each of Minnesota’s eight congressional districts, and four are elected at large.

According to statute, potential board members are selected by the Regent Candidate Advisory Council. A joint House and Senate committee on regent selection then votes to recommend a slate of candidates to the full House and Senate.

This year, the advisory council submitted eight candidates for the committee’s recommendation, and a ninth, Frobenius, was successfully nominated by Rep. Larry Haws (DFL-St. Cloud). The slate recommended by the committee included Simmons, Beeson, Frobenius and Allen.

During the floor vote, Simmons and Beeson each received 192 votes, and Frobenius received 187. In the closest race, Allen bested opponent Anne Rasmusson, nominated on the House floor by Rep. Bernie Lieder (DFL-Crookston), by a vote of 114-78.

Other regent candidates interviewed by the joint committee were Randy Simonson from the 1st District, Anita Pampusch from the 4th District, and Kjell Bergh and Kathryn Roberts from the 6th District.

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