4 named to U of M Board of Regentsby Alex Friedrich, Minnesota Public Radio
ST. PAUL, Minn. — The Legislature has named four people to the University of Minnesota Board of Regents, including two incumbents who got second terms during a challenging time for the university.
Lawmakers reappointed Chairwoman Linda Cohen and regent Dean Johnson, who have been on the board since 2007.
The appointments come as legislators are reviewing how the university spends money following a Wall Street Journal article that singled out the school for high administrative costs. Regents and the university's new president have pledged to overhaul procedures.
Johnson said his reappointment was a cautious stamp of approval, but he said spending is a big topic with legislators.
"Accountability of tuition, state dollars, research dollars is all on the table," Johnson said. "And if I was asked once, I was asked 25 times. You know, 'As an incumbent regent, what about this?' "
Lawmakers also chose Peggy Lucas, partner in a Twin Cities housing and redevelopment organization and they named Ph.D. student Abdul Omari as a student regent.
Lucas said the scrutiny can improve the university.
"It's always a challenging time at the university," Lucas said. "I think this particular incident with The Wall Street Journal offers an opportunity for us to look at some things, and maybe validate some of the things we're doing, and maybe dig deeper and change a few things."
The regents will serve six-year terms.