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U of M Regents visit Duluth area to highlight importance of renewed public investment

October 19, 2012

Three members of the University of Minnesota Board of Regents travel to Cloquet and Duluth today to meet with campus leaders and alumni, tour facilities and highlight the importance of renewed public investment in the university.

The Board recently approved the university’s biennial budget request and legislative proposal to the State of Minnesota for fiscal years 2014-15.

Regents Laura Brod of New Prague, Thomas Devine of Chanhassen and Venora Hung of Golden Valley will be joined on their visit to the University of Minnesota Duluth (UMD) campus by UMD Chancellor Lendley Black and his leadership team.

“The Board of Regents understands that one of the university’s greatest strengths is its statewide presence and impact,” said Linda Cohen, Board of Regents chair. “We’re interested in partnering with policymakers in northeastern Minnesota and across the state to hold down tuition and deliver solutions to some of the state’s most complicated challenges.”

The 12-member governing board of the University of Minnesota is elected by the state legislature. One Regent is elected from each of Minnesota’s eight congressional districts and four are elected at large. Regents serve without pay for six-year terms.

The university’s biennial budget request focuses on freezing tuition for Minnesota undergraduate students, commits the U to $28 million in cost savings and launches four targeted research initiatives, the Minnesota Discovery, Research and InnoVation Economy (MnDRIVE) program. MnDRIVE will focus on four areas over the biennium—environment, robotics, global food supply and brain conditions—to improve economic vitality, health and quality of life for Minnesotans.

The Regents will also tour the Cloquet Forestry Center and UMD’s Natural Resources Research Institute (NRRI), which was established by the Legislature in the 1980s to improve the state’s economy by helping natural resource-based industries compete in a global marketplace. Since it was founded, NRRI has helped numerous companies start up or expand, such as Apprise Technologies, Ikonics, Van Technologies, Loll Designs and Epicurean Cutting Surfaces.

The Regents will also meet with the UMD Council of Deans and will attend UMD’s Homecoming football game against Bemidji State, which kicks off Saturday at 1 p.m.

The university’s impact in Duluth and surrounding communities is immense. Nearly 16,000 residents from northeastern Minnesota are graduates of the U of M, and together they hold more than 20,000 degrees, including advanced degrees in medicine, law, engineering and veterinary medicine. Last semester, the U’s five statewide campuses enrolled 2,286 students hailing from northeastern Minnesota.

Together with UMD, the Cloquet Forestry Center, Grand Rapids Regional Extension Office and area county Extension offices account for more than 1,800 jobs in the region, resulting in a $374 million economic impact.

For more information, visit or For more information on building support for the university’s budget request and legislative proposal, visit

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