News Release

Profile for U of M’s 18th president begins to take shape

Regents outline key characteristics that will help shape the job description for the University’s next president

During its September meetings, the University of Minnesota Board of Regents discussed key leadership characteristics that will help shape the position description for recruiting the next U of M president. The Board also discussed immediate next steps and timing for its presidential search. 

Representatives from executive search firm WittKieffer joined the Board to help facilitate the discussion about potential candidate characteristics. The Board retained WittKieffer to assist with the president search, a specialty for the firm, which focuses much of its work on higher education and nonprofit leadership hires. 

The Board’s wide-ranging discussion reiterated the collective commitment to attracting a broad and diverse pool of the highest quality candidates, emphasizing that the ideal candidate will be adept at connecting with the people of Minnesota and advancing the U of M as the state’s premier educational institution and one of America’s leading research universities. 

“This is a consequential time for our University,” said Board Chair Janie Mayeron. “We know there are exceptional and strong leaders who are energized and optimistic about the opportunity to guide the University of Minnesota System. In coordination with WittKeifer and the Presidential Search Advisory Committee, and with welcomed input and perspective from all five of our campuses and all corners of Minnesota, I’m confident we will hire a dynamic, inclusive and visionary leader to advance the U of M and our service to the state.”

The Board’s discussion also emphasized the importance of collecting input throughout the search process from a broad range of people — students, faculty, staff, alumni, donors, elected officials, civic and community leaders, all Minnesotans and anyone else who feels invested or connected to the U of M. 

In terms of immediate next steps, the Board is expected to continue this discussion at its October meeting. The Board will also appoint and charge members of its Presidential Search Advisory Committee at that time. Public nominations for committee positions closes today, Sept. 8. The Committee — which will include representatives from the Board of Regents, faculty, students, staff, alumni, and the broader University and Minnesota communities — will evaluate and narrow the field of presidential candidates to a small number of semifinalists for Board consideration. 

Updates about the search and future engagement opportunities – including systemwide listening sessions – will be available on the Board’s Presidential Search website. Input can also be provided directly to the Board at any time on the presidential search or any other topic through the recently launched Virtual Forum.

The Board also:

  • Reviewed the President’s recommended six-year capital plan and 2024 state capital request, as well as a supplemental 2024 state budget request.
  • Discussed the potential effects of the recent U.S. Supreme Court decision on college admissions, and in particular the possible impact on undergraduate admissions.
  • Received the annual report on academic program changes from Executive Vice President and Provost Rachel Croson.
  • Discussed public safety planning for the 2023-24 academic year with Interim President Jeff Ettinger and Senior Vice President for Finance and Operations Myron Frans.
  • Received the annual report from the University of Minnesota Foundation.
  • Reviewed Duluth campus plans to shape the physical campus environment in alignment with systemwide strategic priorities.
  • Reviewed the charges and considered annual planning for newly launched special committees focused on academic health and on University engagement with the public and other key stakeholders.
  • Approved amendments to two Board policies — Board of Regents Policy: Board Operations and Agenda Guidelines and Board of Regents Policy: Reservation and Delegation of Authority.

The Board of Regents is scheduled to meet next on Oct. 12-13, 2023. Visit for more information.

Media Contacts

Andria Waclawski

University Public Relations