That a small group of pioneers established the University of Minnesota before the state itself was formed may come as a surprise to some. According to historian James Gray, our state’s founders insisted on an “institution of the highest order” when the Minnesota territory was only two years old, a time when the tallest structures on the Mississippi weren’t buildings but trees!
From that prescient decision over 150 years ago has grown a university of which every Minnesotan can be proud. Globally recognized for excellence in research and teaching, while staying true to its commitment to improving the lives of all through statewide outreach, the U is every Minnesotan’s university.
Given the historic and close relationship of the University to the people of Minnesota, the most important task of the Board of Regents, the University’s 12-member legislatively elected governing body, is to select the University’s president. As well known as the University is, the process by which the Board of Regents selects a president is decidedly unfamiliar. Consider: this fall while we will be selecting the 40th governor of Minnesota, the Board of Regents will be selecting just the 16th president of the University of Minnesota!
This state has been well served by the presidents of the University of Minnesota since its ambitious founding in 1851. Indeed, the Board of Regents expects each new president to build upon the University’s strong foundation of achievement while articulating a clear and compelling vision for its future.
Now, as we begin celebrating the leadership of Robert H. Bruininks as the University’s 15th president, and turn to selecting his successor, we also reach out to the people of Minnesota. We invite you to participate. We welcome your thoughts and observations. Updates on the selection process will be posted on our website: http://www.presidentsearch.umn.edu.
Finally, thank you for your support of the University of Minnesota.
Venora Hung and the University of Minnesota Board of Regents:
Clyde Allen, Chair
Linda Cohen, Vice Chair