University of Minnesota Board of Regents elects new chair and vice chair

The University of Minnesota Board of Regents has elected Regent Dean E. Johnson to serve a two-year term as board chair from 2015-2017. Regent David McMillan was named vice chair. Both were officially elected to their new leadership positions Friday morning, during a full Board of Regents meeting.

"I appreciate the support of my colleagues on the Board and look forward to working with President Kaler to invest in students, advance world-class research, and ensure that the University of Minnesota continues to impact every corner of the state," said Johnson.

Johnson added, "The Regents are committed to streamlining operations while maintaining the excellence of Minnesota’s only land-grant public research university."

Both appointments will become effective July 1, 2015. Regent Johnson, vice chair from 2013-15, replaces outgoing chair Richard Beeson, who served a two-year term as chair and who will continue as a regent on the board.

Johnson was elected to the Board of Regents in 2007 as an at-large representative and was recently re-elected for a second six-year term. Previously, Johnson was a member of the Minnesota House of Representatives (1978-1982) and Minnesota Senate (1982-2006), where he served as minority and majority leader. Johnson has been parish pastor at Calvary Lutheran Church in Willmar, Minn., for 42 years and received his bachelor’s degree in business administration from Luther College, a master’s of divinity degree from Luther Theological Seminary in St. Paul and a master’s degree in strategic studies from the United States Army War College. He is a native of Lanesboro, Minn. His brother is Lyle. E. Johnson of Rushford, Minn. and he is married to Debbie Baker of Omaha, Neb.

McMillan was elected to the Board of Regents in 2011 from Congressional District 8. He is executive vice president at Minnesota Power, where he has served in a variety of roles since 1989. McMillan received his bachelor’s degree in economics and history from the University of Minnesota Duluth and a law degree from the University of Minnesota. He currently serves as chair of the St. Lawrence Seaway Development Corporation’s Advisory Board and on the board of directors of St. Luke’s Hospital. He has previously served as board chair of the Minnesota Chamber of Commerce, the Natural Resources Research Institute, the Area Partnership for Economic Expansion, and Goodwill Industrial Vocational Enterprises.

The University of Minnesota Board of Regents is an independent governing board for the U. It sets the strategic direction of the University, establishes policies that govern the institution, approves operating and capital budgets, and engages in monitoring and evaluating the performance of the institution in achieving its goals and fulfilling its mission. Regents are elected by the Minnesota Legislature.

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