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Gov. recommends regent candidates

Associated Press

ST. PAUL — Citing the desire to make the University of Minnesota Board of Regents more gender and racially diverse, Gov. Tim Pawlenty has recommended that four open seats be filled by a black man, two white women and a female Asian-American student.

He recommended that incumbents Peter Bell of the 5th Congressional District and at-large representative Cynthia Lesher of New Brighton receive six-year terms.

The governor suggested that licensed psychologist Linda Cohen of Minnetonka fill the other at-large seat and that university law student Venora Hung of Golden Valley join the board as the student representative.

Regents Lakeesha Ransom and Frank Berman did not seek re-election.

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If Pawlenty’s recommendations are approved by the Legislature, the board would include seven white men, one black man, three white women and one Asian-American woman.

The current board includes eight white men, one black man, two white women and one black female student.

Under a new state law, the governor must consider the needs of the board in recommending candidates as well as "gender, racial and ethnic composition."

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