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U's Board of Regents Chair Ken Powell resigns; Vice Chair Janie Mayeron assumes interim role

In Powell's resignation letter to the university, he wrote the decision to step down as board chair was "intended to support continuity of leadership."
Credit: KARE 11

MINNEAPOLIS — The University of Minnesota's Board of Regents announced it will hold a special meeting Thursday to plan its next steps in leadership after Board Chair Ken Powell announced Monday he was stepping down.

A statement sent from the board to U of M students, faculty and staff said Powell's resignation was effective immediately, and pursuant to the board's bylaws, Vice Chair Janie Mayeron would assume the role of interim board chair.

"I have worked closely with Ken over the past several months as Vice Chair and am ready to lead in the role of Board Chair at this critically important time for the University," Mayeron said in the statement.

Powell wrote in his resignation letter to the university that the decision to step down as chair was "intended to support continuity of leadership."

"The Minnesota Legislature is poised to elect new Regents in the coming weeks, and it is very unlikely I will be elected for a second term," he wrote. "Given the many consequential and urgent decisions facing us, including selecting an interim president, the presidential transition and other critically important University matters, the Board needs a leadership team now that will be in place throughout these transitions and beyond."

Powell, who was elected as an at-large regent in 2017, wrote that he has "full confidence" in Mayerson as the board's new leader.

"She has actively participated in leadership discussions as Vice Chair since December 2022 and we have anticipated this change in Board leadership together," he wrote, adding, "She is ready to step into this role."

Mayeron said the board will meet Thursday, April 20, to determine its next steps for selecting and appointing an interim president, among other procedural moves stemming from Powell's exit from leadership.

"The Board is taking a measured approach. Our mission of education, research, and outreach must — and will — guide any decision the Board makes. We are committed to acting with openness and transparency to reassure you and the public that the University will maintain momentum on key priorities while reinforcing our institution’s service to all Minnesotans," the statement read.

The public is invited to stream this week's meeting on the Board of Regents website, and can also share their thoughts and input through the board's online comment form.


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