Wednesday, April 18, 2007

The BigU Regents Selection Process is Partisan Mr. Bonzo is Shocked, Shocked...

Mr. Bonzo has written earlier about the partisan election process for new members of the Board of Regents (BOR). Today the Daily has an article about the matter, below are selected excerpts. See the full article for amplification.

April 18, 2007

An Experiment Gone Partisan
Although the board of regents is not political, the new regent selection process is that and then some.

At the Capitol, everything's political. Even things that shouldn't be.

As Republican Gov. Tim Pawlenty weighed in on the process for the first time, the Capitol erupted in controversy over what lawmakers found to be a newly politicized process.

Ultimately, this new method raised questions about lawmakers' roles in regent selection and whether they have the University's best interests in mind or their own political ideologies.

Outgoing regents included Peter Bell, a Republican in Pawlenty's administration and chairman of the Metropolitan Council.

"The regent selection process has politicized (the board) to a degree that could be problematic," Bell said.

Rep. Phyllis Kahn, DFL-Minneapolis, criticized Pawlenty for not taking the authority granted to him. He never met with any of the candidates, which meant legislators didn't give much consideration to his selections.

The governor could have had a better chance of getting his selected candidates - including Bell and outgoing Regent Cynthia Lesher, who lost reappointment to former DFL Senate Majority Leader Dean Johnson - through the process had he personally interviewed them, Kahn said.

Kahn said the governor should have sat down with legislative leaders to negotiate the "regents' slate," compromising to allow both Johnson and Bell appointments to the board.

After a speech on campus Monday, Pawlenty said the regent selection process "was designed to be better, but it really was a disappointment."

"Without casting any aspersions on this year's finalists or appointees, I would say we have to do better at getting higher-quality regents for the University of Minnesota," he said. "This year's process doesn't look like it was any better in that regard than the last (one)."

Mr. Bonzo would also like to correct an apparent error. Regent Metzen, formerly the chair of the Board of Regents is listed as being from Congressional District 4.

The Daily should know better as
they have previously published

August 10, 2005

Regent lives out of range

David Metzen has lived outside his district since the 2002 redistricting.

Two years after promising to move to the district he represents, a member of the Board of Regents still lives in his old residence.

David Metzen, the former board chairman serving his second consecutive term for the 4th Congressional District, currently lives a few blocks outside his district.

Metzen was first elected to represent the 4th Congressional District in 1997. But the 2002 redistricting left him on the outside looking in when his term expired in 2003.

Unable to win legislative support in the 2nd District, where his home is now, Metzen promised to move to a new home if he was re-elected to represent the 4th District.

Metzen has said he would be willing to step down from his post if that's what is called for.

But Sen. John Marty, DFL-Roseville, of legislative District 54, which is within the 4th Congressional District, said such a move would be a little drastic.

"It's not like this is scandalous," [sic] he said.

[Our standards are apparently not that high here in BigState, at least for political appointments like the BOR.]

Marty said he and other legislators would like to see Metzen make a serious attempt to move into the 4th District, but asking him to step down would be too much.

[Two years have passed - how long is this going to go on? Or are some pigs more equal than other pigs?]

Mark Rotenberg, general counsel for the University, said the University is not legally liable for anything relating to David Metzen's living status.

"It's not a problem for the University, it's a problem that arises from the Legislature's selection of individuals, none of whom are currently (residing) in the 4th Congressional District," Rotenberg said.

Given his current address, it appears that he still lives in Congressional District 2:

Metzen, David
273 Salem Church Rd
Sunfish Lake, MN 55118

Members of Congress Representing ZIP code 55118-4742

A search was done for members of Congress representing residents of the following address:


Residents of the 55118-4742 ZIP code are represented in Congress by 2 Senators and 1 Representative.

Senator Norm Coleman (R- MN)
Senator Amy Klobuchar (D- MN)
Representative John Kline (R - 02)

In addition to his service on the BOR, Regent Metzen is also a motivational speaker who lists his regent service as one of his qualifications for giving lectures (at $2000 - $5000 a pop) on such topics as:

Leaders are Learners
Change or Die
Building a Learning Organization
How Great Boards Work
It’s All About People
You Can’t Win Without Teamwork
Inspiring and Motivating Your Staff
Barriers to Change
Moving out of your Comfort Zone

Sounds like Regent Metzen may want to move out of his comfort zone so that we can all learn how great boards work. After all, building a learning organization is all about people and you can't win without teamwork. Inpiring and motivating your staff involves removing barriers to change.

A shocked and awed Bonzo

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