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University of Minnesota Board of Regents elects new chair and vice chair

June 14, 2013

The University of Minnesota Board of Regents has elected Regent Richard Beeson to serve a two-year term as board chair from 2013-2015. Regent Dean Johnson was named vice chair. Both were officially elected to their new leadership positions Friday morning, during a full Board of Regents meeting.

"I appreciate the support of my colleagues on the Board and look forward to working with President Kaler to invest in students, advance world-class research, and ensure that the University of Minnesota continues to impact every corner of the state," said Beeson.

Johnson added, "The Regents are committed to streamlining operations while maintaining the excellence of Minnesota’s only land-grant public research university."

Both appointments will become effective July 1, 2013. Regent Beeson replaces outgoing chair Linda Cohen, who served from 2011-2013 and who will continue as a regent on the board. Regent Johnson takes over for David Larson, a board member since 2005.

Beeson was elected to the Board of Regents in 2009 from Congressional District 4. He currently serves as executive vice president for corporate development and government relations at Sunrise Banks. He previously served as president & CEO at Park Midway Bank in St. Paul for twenty years and also worked for the City of St. Paul Department of Planning & Economic Development. Beeson received his bachelor’s degree in political science from the University of Minnesota and a master’s of business administration from the University of St. Thomas.

Johnson was elected to the Board of Regents in 2007 as an at-large representative and was recently re-elected for a second six-year term. Previously, Johnson was a member of the Minnesota House of Representatives (1978-1982) and Minnesota Senate (1982-2006), where he served as minority and majority leader. Johnson has been parish pastor at Calvary Lutheran Church in Willmar, Minn., for 40 years and received his bachelor’s degree in business administration from Luther College, a master’s of divinity degree from Luther Theological Seminary in St. Paul and a master’s degree in strategic studies from the United States Army War College.

The University of Minnesota Board of Regents is an independent governing board for the U. It sets the strategic direction of the University, establishes policies that govern the institution, approves operating and capital budgets, and engages in monitoring and evaluating the performance of the institution in achieving its goals and fulfilling its mission. Regents are elected by the Minnesota Legislature.

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