U of M narrows president search to four lead candidates

The University of Minnesota’s Presidential Search Advisory Committee (PSAC) announced that it recommended four lead candidates for consideration to become the university’s 18th president.

Current Interim U of M President Jeff Ettinger is set to leave the job on June 20. He previously served as the CEO of Hormel Foods Corp. for more than a decade.

He succeeded President Joan Gabel, the first woman to hold the position after she left to become chancellor of the University of Pittsburgh last year.

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Officials say they recruited a pool of 46 candidates and interviewed 12 before selecting four to be considered by the university’s Board of Regents during its Feb. 9 meeting.

The university said the candidates’ names will be confidential according to Minnesota law and only those who are selected to be interviewed by the Board will be named publicly.

The applicant pool reportedly consisted of 89% men, 11% women and 39% BIPOC individuals.

PSAC is also asking for public input in the hiring process.

There are also planned open houses and public forums set to begin the week of Feb. 12, where the finalists will visit each campus to meet with students, faculty, staff, and the general public. Specific dates and times are expected to be announced based on availability and travel arrangements.

This comes after it was announced that the university’s CFO and COO his intention to resign in March earlier this week.

Upcoming challenges to the U of M could include a tuition hike after a $24 million shortfall as well as public safety concerns.