U of M Board of Regents interviews finalist for president position

December 14, 2018 05:27 PM

The University of Minnesota Board of Regents formally interviewed the woman vying to be the next president of the university Friday.

The interview concluded a busy week for Joan Gabel, who has now visited all five of the university's campuses.


According to a release, the board will hold a special meeting at 10 a.m. Tuesday to take action on selecting the university's 17th president.

There is a possibility her contract details will be decided upon at that meeting. In addition, there could be an announcement about a transition team.

"I feel full faith and confidence in this Board of Regents, that they'll select the person why they think is best for the next chapter of the University of Minnesota," Gabel said during a press conference after her two-hour long interview.

Gabel was asked about her leadership style. She said it's collaborative.

"You have to think of a greater good, and be vulnerable to the fact that some people's ideas may be better than yours," she added.

Regarding campus safety, Gabel said she would ramp up education efforts during orientation about students making smart choices. She also talked about the need of what she described as a very well-trained, student-centric police force.

"We've been thinking of it in a crisis mindset. We need to do a better job at prevention," Gabel said when asked about the mental health of students.

Gabel fielded questions about diversity, as well as recruitment and retention of international students.

"We also want to make sure we have a sense of cross-cultural competency imbued in the curriculum at appropriate moments," she said.

When asked about student achievements gaps, Gabel said, "We really need to start working with students before they arrive in partnership with K-12."

If hired, Gabel would become the university's first female president.

Gabel responded to questions on a variety of other topics Friday, including enrollment challenges, intercollegiate athletics, revenue sources, research and shared governance.

More from KSTP.com:

U of M president-finalist visits Twin Cities campus

Finalist in U of M presidential search to tour campuses

Students prepare questions for University of Minnesota presidential-finalist ahead of visit

Gabel is currently the provost at the University of South Carolina.

On Monday, she was in the Twin Cities where students and community members asked her about everything from having diversity on campus to her management style. Her final visit was at the Rochester campus Thursday night.

"Being in a city like this and studying in this way using the learning methodologies that are so innovative here and what that does for the system, what that does for the state of Minnesota, what it does for the grand challenges in healthcare is really tremendous," Gabel said.

If Gabel is hired, she would take over as president on July 1.

The board Friday also approved the president's recommended undergraduate nonresident/non-reciprocity tuition increase of 10 percent on the Twin Cities campus.

It will take effect for the 2019-20 school year. The board also affirmed the president's recommendation to hold the tuition rate of currently enrolled nonresident/non-reciprocity students to an increase of no more than 5.5 percent.

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Brandi Powell, Ashley Zilka & Rebecca Omastiak

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