U of M Board of Regents chair not recommended for reelection

The Regent Candidate Advisory Council has recommended candidates to fill four upcoming vacancies on the University of Minnesota Board of Regents, and current Chair Ken Powell did not make the list, even as the incumbent seeks his second six-year term on the board.

The RCAC is a 24-member citizens’ board that reviews and recommends qualified candidates to state lawmakers, who then vote for those candidates during the legislative session.

RCAC member Dan Wolter told 5 EYEWITNESS NEWS a series of controversies centering on top administrators, including President Joan Gabel, made him vote against Powell this time despite supporting the former General Mills CEO when he first ran six years ago.

“With questions arising over potential conflicts of interest involving former Board of Regent Vice-Chair David McMillan and U of M President Joan Gabel, I decided to move in another direction regarding Chair Powell’s bid for another term,” Wolter said.

During last Thursday’s RCAC interview session, Powell defended McMillan and Gabel, saying their potential conflicts of interest had been vetted and approved by independent groups. He added he “had no problem” with their respective situations.

Even though Powell was not recommended for reelection, he can still run and be approved by lawmakers and retain his seat on the Board of Regents.

A vote by lawmakers is expected sometime in March. Check back for updates as 5 EYEWITNESS NEWS monitors conversations surrounding the Board of Regents.

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