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Johnson named vice-chairman of University of Minnesota Regents

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WILLMAR — University of Minnesota Regent Dean Johnson, of Willmar, was elected today by his peers as vice-chairman of the 12-member board.

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The two-year post begins July 1.

Richard Beeson, of St. Paul, was elected chairman.

“It’s an honor,” said Johnson, who is a former state senator and was first elected to the Board of Regents in 2007. He was re-elected to a second, six-year term this spring.

In a telephone interview this afternoon Johnson said he was nominated by another regent for the vice-chairman position. The process included being screened by a three-member nominating committee and a final vote this morning by the entire board.

Johnson said he actively campaigned for the position and talked to the 11 other members of the board about his desire to carry out the goals and mission of the university.

Because he’s “not the new kid on the block,” Johnson said the other regents were familiar with his leadership style.

The role of vice-chairman comes with added responsibilities, including extra meetings with top university faculty.

If tradition holds true, Johnson could expect to be named chairman of the Board of Regents in two years.

Also today, the regents approved a $3.6 billion budget and approved a two-year freeze on tuition.

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Carolyn Lange
A reporter for more than 30 years, Carolyn Lange covers county government and regional news with the West Central Tribune.
(320) 894-9750
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