Bill Would Require Two of 12 Regents to be Students

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

A bill introduced Monday would double the number of students required on the University of Minnesota Board of Regents.

The bill, authored in the House by Rep. King Banaian, a Republican, and Rep. Tom Rukavina, a DFLer, would require two members of the 12-member board to be "students who are enrolled in a degree program at the university" at the time of their election. Right now, the law calls for one student on the board.

There are actually two regents now who were elected when they were students -- Maureen Ramirez and Venora Hung. At the time of their election, in 2007, Ramirez was getting a master's degree from the Duluth campus, while Hung was a law student. Ramirez holds the official student seat.

Regents serve six-year terms without pay.

Beyond the 12 regents, there are eight student representatives to the board who participate in committee work and present reports. They provide "a unique perspective that assists the Board in its deliberations," according to the regents' website. But they do not vote.

A bit of trivia: U President Eric Kaler served as a student rep to the board while he was getting his Ph.D.

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