Regents name sole finalist in U of M presidential search

December 05, 2018 08:36 PM

After four months of searching, the University of Minnesota board of regents has narrowed the list of candidates to replace President Eric Kaler to one.

There were 67 applicants. The search committee narrowed that down to 10 for interviews and then three finalists. Wednesday, the Board of Regents voted to bring in Joan T.A. Gabel, provost of the University of South Carolina.

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The vote was 11 to 1.

RELATED: U of M president search continues with candidate review

There was an internal debate at Wednesday's Regents meeting about bringing in more than one candidate.

Gabel is the only one of the three finalists who agreed to be named publicly if there were other finalists. The other two candidates did not want to be named.

Regardless, there was widespread agreement that Gabel stands out.

Before her tenure at the University of South Carolina, Gabel was the dean of the University of Missouri's Trulaske College of Business for five years.

She earned her bachelor’s degree in philosophy from Haverford College in Pennsylvania and her Juris Doctor from the University of Georgia.

She will get to know Minnesota starting next week when she will visit all five U of M campuses for public forums. She will then be interviewed by the entire Board of Regents at their meeting December 14. 

RELATED: U of M announces update in search for new president

This does not mean Gabel will become the next U of M president. The regents have the option of opening up the search again if interviews next week don’t go well.

If Gabel is named the next president, she will be the university's 17th and the first woman to head the school.

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Kevin Doran

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