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Board of Regents commit to working with U president to ensure prudence in senior leader compensation

Other Board actions: approvals of new Carlson School Dean Zaheer, six-year capital improvement plan

March 9, 2012

During its regular meeting today, the University of Minnesota Board of Regents addressed recent public and legislative concern about senior leader compensation and transition agreements. Board discussion echoed remarks from University President Eric W. Kaler, who committed to more closely following university policies and guidelines on compensation.

“Students, families and all Minnesotans expect us to be careful stewards of the public, tuition and private funding the University of Minnesota utilizes to achieve our mission as a land grant and research institution focused on doing what’s best for students,” said Board of Regents Chair Linda Cohen, following Friday’s meeting. “We have confidence in President Kaler’s responsiveness to this issue and his careful, watchful and prudent approach to financial management. The Board of Regents will work closely with President Kaler to review senior leader compensation and transition policies, and will make any changes necessary to ensure appropriate oversight of the university’s financial resources.”

Other agenda items addressed during today’s Board meeting included:
•    Approval of the appointment of Dr. Srilata Zaheer as the new Carlson School of Management dean. Provost Karen Hanson and President Kaler first announced the selection of Dr. Zaheer during a Carlson School program on March 8. Dr. Zaheer’s term as dean will begin immediately.
•    Presentation of the McKnight Land-Grant Professors, a program that began in 1987 to strengthen and nurture promising junior faculty. Recipients are honored with the title, which they hold for two years, as well as research grant support. Recognized recipients included Yingling Fan, public affairs; Joshua Feinberg, earth sciences; Melissa Gardner, genetics, cell biology and development; Jason Hill, bioproducts and biosystems engineering; Daniel Keefe, computer science and engineering; and Dominique Tobbell, surgery.
•    Approval of the $1.3 billion six-year capital plan for the university, which invests in projects to help ensure student success and access, contributes to the U’s research excellence, ensures more efficient use of space and protects the assets of campuses statewide. The plan fulfills the Board of Regents’ 2008 goal of taking a broader, more interdisciplinary approach to planning, as well as focusing on collaboratively controlled space and better aligning assets to the university’s strategic goals.
•    A presentation about the university’s land grant mission, which was established by the Morrill Act 150 years ago.
•    Planned action on a new ambulatory care center on the Twin Cities was tabled until the May board meeting to align with the timing of consideration by the Fairview Health Services Board of Directors. The care center would house patient clinics for use by University of Minnesota Physicians, students and Fairview.
•    Chair Cohen confirmed that she has accepted the resignation of Regent Steve Sviggum, which leaves the 2nd Congressional District seat vacant.

The next Board of Regents meetings will occur on May 10-11, 2012.

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