U of M's influential Board of Regents gets new members – here's what they do

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The University of Minnesota will soon be overseen by a new Board of Regents – the body to whom the U of M's president answers – headlined by a combination of new and returning faces.

In a joint session of the state Legislature Wednesday night, lawmakers appointed five people to the 12-member board.

Two are actually incumbents whose six-year terms were up – one of those, retired Mayo Clinic Dr. Patricia Simmons, will begin a rare third term, according to Star Tribune.

In another unusual move, the legislature voted to bring a former regents member to the board, the paper reports. Darrin Rosha, a Maple Plain lawyer, was a student representative from 1989 to 1995. His was a last-minute nomination, the Pioneer Press writes. He'll finish out the remainder of David Larson's term – the board member died in October.

The paper notes the two new faces joining the roster are Michael Hsu and Thomas Anderson.

The fifth member appointed Wednesday is incumbent regent and board chair Richard Beeson, the Minnesota Daily reports.

So what does the Board of Regents do?

A lot, actually.

Appointing, overseeing and, if necessary, replacing the U of M president are just a few of the tasks that fall to the board, according to its website.

Its other major responsibilities include approving major policies, educational programs and budgets – all while "enhancing the public image" of the University and assuring that the school's mission is fulfilled.

And how does the selection process work?

Similar to congressional races, board members are appointed from each of the state's eight congressional districts, the Associated Press reports. The remaining four represent the state "at large."

The five newly-appointed regents are representatives for specific congressional districts – the first, third, fourth, sixth and seventh.

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