News Release

Three finalists named for U of M’s next president

Stone relief of the U of M Regents seal

Finalists will visit all five U of M campuses over the next two weeks for public forums

Today the University of Minnesota Board of Regents named Laura Bloomberg, Rebecca Cunningham and James Holloway as finalists to be the 18th President of the University of Minnesota System. The finalists rose to the top of a pool of four lead candidates unanimously endorsed by the Board’s Presidential Search Advisory Committee.

“The Board is proud to advance such highly qualified finalists for the University’s top leadership position — all from an outstanding group of candidates,” said Board Chair Janie Mayeron. “Selecting the next president is one of the Board's most important responsibilities, and reaching this significant step was only possible thanks to the commitment and hard work of members of the Presidential Search Advisory Committee and hundreds of people from the University community and beyond who have shared their perspectives so far.”

Starting Monday, February 12, finalists will visit the Crookston, Duluth, Morris, Rochester and Twin Cities campuses to meet with students, faculty, staff and the public in a series of open forums, with each including a brief presentation and moderated Q&A session. Visit details are available on the Presidential Search website.

“Now is the time for the University community to interview these finalists and provide feedback to the Board of Regents,” Mayeron continued. “We hope students, faculty, staff and Minnesotans from around the state take this role seriously and engage the finalists at upcoming public forums.”

Following campus visits, the Board will hold a special meeting on Monday, February 26 to publicly interview finalists and decide who it will appoint as president-designate. That meeting will be publicly noticed soon.

The finalists

The Presidential Search Advisory Committee, made up of 24 members from across the University and beyond, evaluated an applicant pool of 46 talented candidates. After conducting confidential interviews with 12 candidates, the advisory committee unanimously recommended four lead candidates to the full Board for consideration. Regents discussed the four candidates in a de-identified way today before naming finalists. Under Minnesota law, the names of candidates become public once the Board takes action naming them finalists.

The finalists include:

  • Dr. Laura Bloomberg, who currently serves as the president of Cleveland State University and was the former Dean of the University of Minnesota Humphrey School of Public Affairs.
  • Dr. Rebecca Cunningham, who currently serves as the vice president for research and innovation at the University of Michigan.
  • Dr. James Holloway, who currently serves as the provost and executive vice president for academic affairs at the University of New Mexico.

Additional details about finalists, including their application materials, are posted on the Board’s Presidential Search website.

Throughout the search process, the Board has repeatedly expressed appreciation for the input provided by members of the U of M community and Minnesotans statewide. At Friday’s meeting, Board members reiterated that feedback continues to be welcomed at the open forums and through finalist-specific evaluation forms on the search website. Additionally, anyone may connect with the Board on other topics through the Board’s Virtual Forum.

The Board also:

  • Approved a resolution related to a Non-Binding Letter of Intent with Fairview Health Services.
  • Reviewed completed external audit work and the fiscal 2024 audit plan.
  • Discussed the Governor’s Task Force on Academic Health at the University of Minnesota, including recommendations from the final report of the Task Force.
  • Received an update on Higher Learning Commission Accreditation for the Rochester and Twin Cities campuses, a process required every 10 years that is just beginning for the two campuses.
  • Approved amendments to the University’s supplemental fiscal 2025 State budget request related to support for the University’s academic health system.
  • Reviewed Board of Regents Policy: Reservation and Delegation of Authority.
  • Approved the University performance and accountability report.

The Board of Regents next regularly scheduled meeting is on March 7-8, 2024. Visit for more information.

Media Contacts

Main Line

University Public Relations

Andria Waclawski

University Public Relations