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New U of M president outlines goals to Board of Regents

Updated: July 11, 2019 06:55 PM

Proclaiming "it's a new day" at the University of Minnesota, new president Joan Gabel delivered her first report to the Board of Regents on Thursday. Gabel actually started her new job July 1, but today was her first board meeting.

"I've reorganized the president's office staff with the aim to not only be responsive, but also to be lean and nimble," she told the board, as she outlined her goals to focus resources on academics and the well-being of students.

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"I'm actually very pleased to report I don't see a lot of problems, I see a lot of opportunities," Gabel told reporters after the meeting.

Gabel said she'll work to keep down tuition and student debt while also providing mental health services to students.

Aside from academics, Gabel will also work with the athletic department to address declining attendance at major revenue sports like football, hockey and basketball. It's a problem facing universities across the country.

"I think if the athletic department is relying on me for ticket sale boosting techniques, we would have a pretty significant problem," Gabel joked. "I'm pretty pleased to be able to see there is a real engagement with our athletic department with the national conversation that's going on in all Power Five athletic departments around ticket sales and the overall revenue."

Gabel is the 17th president of the University of Minnesota and the first female president.

The board's newly-elected chair, Ken Powell, as well as the board's new vice chair, Steve Sviggum, also took part in Thursday's meeting.

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Tom Hauser

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