UMN Regent raises concerns over fellow Regent’s resignation and bid for UMD interim chancellor job

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A University of Minnesota (UMN) Regent is raising concerns about a fellow Regent’s resignation and bid for the open position of interim chancellor at the University of Minnesota-Duluth (UMD).

University of Minnesota Regent Darrin Rosha told 5 EYEWITNESS NEWS he has serious reservations over the prospect of former Regent Dave McMillan becoming the interim chancellor at UMD.

“As long as I have been around this board, thirty years in some capacity, we have ensured that the public knows that we are here for the institution’s interests and ensuring that the university serves the people of Minnesota,” said Rosha. “We would never risk having questions about whether that’s been overcome by our personal interests.”

McMillan was chair of the Board of Regents when current UMN President, Joan Gabel, was hired. In December 2021, McMillan voted to approve a 30% raise for Gabel, which will pay her close to $1.2 million in the final year of her contract.

This month, McMillan voted to approve Gabel’s budget, which included a 3.5% tuition hike. A few days later, McMillan resigned from the Board of Regents and applied to become the interim chancellor at UMD.

Rosha said it’s a potential conflict of interest that should not be ignored because it could undermine the public’s confidence in how the university system is managed.

“To the extent that I don’t think that a member of the Board of Regents should resign to be placed in a position like this, I don’t think it is an appropriate candidacy for a position like this at this point,” said Rosha.

A spokesperson for President Gabel told KSTP that the president was not available for an interview Monday.

The spokesperson noted Gabel had recused herself and referred the matter back to the UMD Chancellor search committee, and it’s possible several candidates will be given to the Board of Regents for consideration.

McMillan told KSTP he has done nothing wrong or unethical, and he is just stepping up to try to help UMD because the school is struggling to find a new leader.

Rosha told KSTP he expects this issue to be discussed at the following meeting of the Board of Regents in July, but there is no specific timeline for filling the UMD vacancy.