U of Minnesota Board of Regents faces controversy over member vetting
- University of Minnesota Regent Darrin Rosha took to the editorial pages of the Minneapolis Star Tribune to respond to a column from the publication's editorial board, which cited him as an example of executive vetting gone wrong.
- Shining light on Rosha's incomplete work history and an inconclusive allegation of sexual harassment, the Star Tribune's editorial board used the example as a central theme in its call for the state legislature to empower the Regent Candidate Advisory Council and to follow its recommendations, which were not in favor of Rosha's appointment to the flagship campus' board.
- In response, Rosha labeled the editorial as an attack from other board members, claimed his work and professional record to be free of controversy, and lamented the council's record of disproportionate mismatch of regent appointment recommendations to institution needs, and at the avoidance of women and racial minorities in its selection process.
Nobody wins when the board of regents feuds, because no matter how wrong they may be on executive appointments, spending and politicization of campus policy and operations, they are always right as the governing body of an institution serving at the will and pleasure of a governor.
Conventional wisdom (and surveys) suggest that the more time board members can spend on campus and with each other independent of board meetings, the greater the likelihood that the board will function at a high level of collegiality and performance.
But when these efforts don't work, or divisiveness becomes the natural order impacting campus function, governors can step in to publicly dismantle boards and to remake them in their own political molds. Chicago State University and the University of Louisville are just two high profile examples of board makeovers in recent years.
- Star Tribune Editorial counterpoint: In U regent debate, assassination of character (mine)
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