Search Committee

Committee Charge

The Presidential Search Advisory Committee (PSAC) is charged with recommending 2-4 unranked lead candidates for President of the University of Minnesota. 

To complete this charge, the committee is expected to: 

  • Solicit input from the University community regarding opportunities for the University’s next president to make an impact, as well as the leadership qualities the chosen candidate will need to be successful; 
  • Using input provided by the Board of Regents at its September and October 2023 meetings, and the opportunities and qualities identified by the University community, develop and recommend to the Board of Regents a position profile to guide recruitment of candidates;
  • Invite nominations and broadly recruit candidates; and
  • Carefully evaluate candidates against the leadership criteria and qualities identified by the University community.    

In addition, PSAC members are expected to: 

  • Play an active role in all facets of the committee’s work; 
  • Set aside parochial concerns and act in the best interest of the entire University community;
  • Disclose to the PSAC chair any potential conflicts of interest; 
  • Serve as ambassadors on behalf of the University; Adequately prepare for and attend all committee meetings, unless an absence is excused by the chair; 
  • Understand and agree that only the PSAC chair and Chair of the Board of Regents will serve as spokespersons for the search; and
  • Maintain strict confidentiality throughout the process, respecting the privacy interests of candidates prior to the selection of finalists, as required by the Minnesota Government Data Practices Act.  

The committee will be assisted by outside search consultants WittKieffer in executing its charge.   

The PSAC chair is charged with calling and presiding over all committee meetings, ensuring the orderly and timely conduct of business, and serving as the primary liaison to WittKieffer and to the Board of Regents. Should a member of the PSAC be unable to participate in candidate interviews and committee deliberations, or for a breach of confidentiality, the PSAC chair may remove the individual from the committee, with approval of the Chair of the Board of Regents and immediate reporting to the Board of Regents. Committee members who are removed by the PSAC chair will not be replaced.  

The PSAC is an advisory committee to the Board of Regents, and does not hold any delegated authority to select the president. The authority to select finalists to be interviewed and the ultimate decision as to who will serve as the University’s next president rests entirely with the Board of Regents. As such, meetings of the PSAC are not required to be open under the Minnesota Open Meeting Law. In all of its deliberations, the PSAC is charged to adhere to University policies and act in accordance with applicable state and federal laws and regulations. 

After the PSAC has completed its work and recommended lead candidates to the Board of Regents, individual Regents who are not members of the PSAC may access all candidate names and application materials pursuant to a method directed by the Chair of the Board of Regents. Although not anticipated, the PSAC should be prepared to extend the search in the event that one or more lead candidates withdraw their names from consideration or the Chair of the Board of Regents directs the committee to deliver a broader pool of lead candidates. The Board is committed to selecting a president who has gone through the application process and been thoroughly vetted and recommended by the PSAC. 

2023 Presidential Search Advisory Committee

Davenport Mary

Mary Davenport

Mary Davenport, chair, is a Regent of the University of Minnesota in an at-large seat, elected in 2019. She is a former higher education administrator with 30 years of experience with Minnesota State, where she held various local and statewide roles that included service as a faculty member, dean, vice president, and president. Davenport also brings over five years of university classroom teaching experience. She holds undergraduate and graduate degrees from the University of Wisconsin–Stevens Point and the University of Wisconsin–Stout. She earned her PhD at Colorado State University and has completed various professional education programs at the Harvard Kennedy School, the Institute for Women in Higher Education at Bryn Mawr College, and the Duke University Sanford Center for Public Policy. She has served on boards in the government and nonprofit sectors, including the Governor’s Workforce Development Council, Minnesota Job Skills Partnership, KSMQ Public Television, the Austin Area Commission for the Arts, and the Greater Rochester Arts and Cultural Trust. She was awarded a Bush Leadership Fellowship in 2003.

Uggen Chris

Chris Uggen

Chris Uggen, vice chair, is Regents Professor and Martindale Chair in Sociology, Law, and Public Affairs in the College of Liberal Arts. Uggen has served as Vice Chair of the Faculty Consultative Committee and Chair of the College of Liberal Arts Council of Chairs. Additionally, he has served as Vice President of the American Sociological Association and leader of a National Academy of Sciences committee. He holds a bachelor’s in Behavioral Science and Law/Criminal Justice and master’s and PhD degrees in Sociology, all from the University of Wisconsin.

Botchwey Nisha

Nisha Botchwey

Nisha Botchwey is the dean of the Humphrey School of Public Affairs and holds the Russell M. and Elizabeth M. Bennett Chair in Excellence in Public Affairs. She holds a master's degree and PhD in urban planning from the University of Pennsylvania, a master’s degree in public health from the University of Virginia, and an AB from Harvard University in Environmental Science and Public Policy. Botchwey previously served as associate dean for academic programs at Georgia Tech Professional Education, where she was responsible for developing academic programs, overseeing all academic offerings and curriculum, and leading outreach and student affairs. Over her career, she has been awarded more than $19 million from leading agencies and foundations as principal investigator or co-PI on more than 32 grant-funded projects. She has earned many distinctions, including an NSF ADVANCE Woman of Excellence Faculty Award, a Hesburgh Award Teaching Fellowship from Georgia Tech, the Georgia Power Professor of Excellence Award, and a Rockefeller-Penn Fellowship from the University of Pennsylvania’s School of Nursing.

Doerfler Jill

Jill Doerfler

Jill Doerfler is a professor and American Indian Studies department head at the University of Minnesota Duluth. She holds two degrees from the University of Minnesota: an undergraduate degree in History and American Indian studies from the Morris campus and a PhD in American Studies from the Twin Cities campus. She has lectured and published widely on the topics of citizenship, blood quantum, and constitutional reform. Her book, Those Who Belong: Identity, Family, Blood, and Citizenship Among the White Earth Anishinaabeg (2015), examines staunch Anishinaabe resistance to racialization and the complex issues surrounding tribal citizenship and identity. She co-authored The White Earth Nation: Ratification of a Native Democratic Constitution (University of Nebraska Press, 2012) with Gerald Vizenor and co-edited Centering Anishinaabeg Studies: Understanding the World Through Stories (Michigan State University Press, 2013) with Niigaanwewidam James Sinclair and Heidi Kiiwetinepinesiik Stark. 

Duncanson Pat

Pat Duncanson

Pat Duncanson is the CEO, CFO, and a partner at Highland Family Farms, a diversified farming operation headquartered in Mapleton, Minnesota. He earned a bachelor’s degree in Ag Business from the University of Minnesota in 1983 and has been a long-time volunteer for the University since graduating. He is the chair of the University of Minnesota Alumni Association Board of Directors and has previously served on the alumni board for the College of Food, Agriculture and Natural Sciences and the Regent Candidate Advisory Council. Duncanson is also an enthusiastic member of St John Senior Choir and Heather Curling Club.

Farnsworth James

James Farnsworth

James Farnsworth is a Regent of the University of Minnesota from Congressional District 4, elected in 2021. He serves as the executive director of the Highland Business Association, the deputy executive director of the Summit Hill Association, and program manager for the YMCA Center for Youth Voice. Previously, he worked in various other roles in non-profit organizations, state government, and the private sector. He also serves on the board of trustees of the Friends School of Minnesota, the board of directors of the Highland District Council, and as a member of the St. Paul City Council Audit Committee. Farnsworth has completed coursework in human resource development in the College of Education and Human Development on the Twin Cities campus.

Foust Remi

Remi Foust

Remi Foust is a sophomore at the University of Minnesota Duluth pursuing three majors and three minors. Foust is the Sustainability Director of the UMD Student Government Association and a Resident Advisor. She has participated at the systemwide SELFsustain conference and was awarded the Sustainability Student Impact Award at the Institute on the Environment's Symposium. Foust’s dedication to sustainability on campus was honored through UMD’s "Emerging Leader Award."

Gildea Lorie

Lorie Gildea

Lorie Gildea recently stepped down as Chief Justice of the Minnesota Supreme Court. She holds a bachelor's degree from the University of Minnesota Morris and a JD from Georgetown University Law Center. Prior to being appointed as Chief Justice, Gildea served as an Associate Justice, a judge in the Fourth Judicial District, Hennepin County, and a prosecutor in the Hennepin County Attorney’s Office. She served on the Minnesota Sentencing Guidelines Commission, the YWCA of Minneapolis Board of Directors, and the MINNCOR Industries Advisory Board. Gildea received a University of Minnesota Distinguished Alumni Award, which recognizes alumni who have distinguished themselves in their personal or professional life.

Goodnough Jennifer

Jennifer Goodnough

Jennifer Goodnough is an associate professor of chemistry at the University of Minnesota Morris where she specializes in analytical chemistry with a research emphasis on hydrogen bonding via Nuclear Magnetic Resonance. She holds undergraduate degrees in chemistry and math from St. Francis University and earned a PhD in chemistry at the University of Wisconsin at Madison. Goodnough has served on the University Senate since 2009, with stints as chair of the Student Academic Integrity Committee and the Senate Committee on Educational Policy. She is currently the vice chair of the Faculty Consultative Committee. Goodnough received the 2023 Morris Alumni Association Teaching Award, and in 2012, she received the Morris Community Engagement Faculty/Staff Award and the John Tate Award for Excellence in Undergraduate Advising. She was elected to the Morris Area School District School Board, and served as a co-chair of the Minnesota Department of Education committee on new science standards for the state.

Guttipatti Pavan

Pavan Guttipatti

Pavan Guttipatti is a senior in the College of Biological Sciences on the Twin Cities campus, with plans to go on to medical school after completing his undergraduate degree. Guttipatti represents students systemwide as chair of the Student Senate Consultative Committee, a role which requires consistent collaboration with representatives from student governance organizations including the Undergraduate Student Government, Professional Student Government, Council of Graduate Students, and the registered student governance associations on the Crookston, Duluth, Morris, and Rochester campuses. He also serves as chair of the Student Senate and as a member of the Minnesota Office of Higher Education Student Advisory Council. 

Hall Enjie

Enjie Hall

Enjie Hall is the University’s Americans with Disabilities Act coordinator and the director of the Disability Resource Center on the Twins Cities campus. Prior to joining the University of Minnesota in 2022, she served as ADA/504 Compliance Officer and director of accessibility and disability resources at the University of Toledo, where she also earned a dual bachelor of arts in speech/language pathology and music. Hall has a master’s in rehabilitation counseling from Bowling Green State University and is a Certified Rehabilitation Counselor and Licensed Professional Counselor. Prior to Toledo, Hall was employed at The Ohio State University in their disability office, directly working with thousands of students where she actively participated in initiatives to advance accessibility and inclusion campuswide. She has significant expertise on issues of disability, mental health, accessibility, and inclusion. In addition to academics and student life, Hall also has experience with university owned or affiliated medical facilities.

Hasan Nadia

Nadia Hasan

Nadia Hasan is Senior Associate General Counsel at UnitedHealth Group. She is the Secretary of the University of Minnesota Alumni Association Board of Directors, a member of its Executive Committee, a Collegiate Council Director, and an advocate with the Minnesota 201 program. Hasan holds an undergraduate degree in English and a JD from the University of Minnesota. In addition to her volunteer work with the UMAA, she serves as a volunteer attorney for the Children’s Law Center of Minnesota.

Homans Frances

Frances Homans

Frances Homans is a professor of applied economics in the College of Food, Agricultural, and Natural Resource Sciences (CFANS). Her research focuses on the economics of invasive species management and land preservation in urban environments. Homans is a faculty athletics representative for the University of Minnesota to the Big Ten Conference and the NCAA and has served in various leadership positions, including as CFANS interim associate dean of academic programs and faculty affairs, and as head of the Department of Applied Economics and the Department of Agricultural Education, Communication and Marketing. She received her undergraduate degree from Pomona College and her master’s and PhD in agricultural economics from the University of California-Davis. 

Johnson Ruth

Ruth Johnson

Ruth Johnson is a Regent of the University of Minnesota from Congressional District 1, elected in 2021. She is an internal medicine staff physician at Mayo Clinic, practicing in the Executive Health Program. Johnson received a bachelor of arts degree in chemistry and biology from Augsburg University, an MD from Mayo Clinic Alix School of Medicine, and completed an internal medicine residency program at Mayo Graduate School of Medicine. She is also certified in Bioethics from Georgetown University Kennedy School of Ethics and in Medical Education from the Harvard-Macy Program for Physician Educators. She was founding director of the Mayo Diagnostic Breast Clinic and has spent 17 years on the Medical Scientist Training Program (MD-PhD) admissions committee. Johnson served for 16 years on the Board of Regents of Augsburg University during which time she served on presidential and academic dean search committees and was an integral part of two capital campaigns.

Krug Chase

Chase Krug

Chase Krug is a PhD student studying applied plant science in the Department of Agronomy and Plant Genetics within the College of Food, Agricultural and Natural Resource Sciences. He holds a bachelor of science degree with a double major in Agronomy and Philosophy from Iowa State University. Krug is actively involved in the Student Senate, Council of Graduate Students and has volunteered for various World Food Prize Foundation activities throughout his undergraduate and graduate experience.

Langer Doug

Doug Langer

Doug Langer has worked for the University of Minnesota Crookston for nearly 25 years. He is currently the Chief Engineer for the campus heating plant and served as a union steward for 20 years. Langer earned an undergraduate degree with honors in business at Crookston and is a proud supporter of the University and the campus. 

Lindahl Nancy

Nancy Lindahl

Nancy Lindahl, a 1968 graduate of the College of Education on the Twin Cities campus, has served the University as National President of the Alumni Association and is currently a Life Trustee of the University of Minnesota Foundation. Lindahl has received several University recognitions, including the Alumni Service Award, Outstanding Achievement Award, Golden Gopher Fund Director’s Award, and College of Education Distinguished Service Award. She has held board positions on thirty local non-profits, and she has served on CEO search committees for three prominent boards in the Twin Cities. Along with her husband, John, Lindahl co-chaired the TCF Bank Stadium Campaign and most recently, the $4.4 billion Driven Campaign.

Flaherty Manchester Colleen

Colleen Flaherty Manchester

Colleen Flaherty Manchester is a professor in the Work and Organizations department and Board of Overseers Professor at the Carlson School of Management. She holds a PhD in economics from Stanford University, with a specialization in labor economics and public finance. She also received a bachelor of arts in both public policy and economics from Stanford University. Her research investigates workplace practices, including benefits and policies, implemented by employers and their effects on the careers of workers, including differences by gender and caregiving role. She recently served as chair of two key University Senate governance committees—the Faculty Consultative Committee (FCC) and Senate Consultative Committee (SCC)—and continues to serve on those two committees.

Mooty Chuck

Chuck Mooty

Chuck Mooty, who holds an MBA from the Carlson School of Management, has served as CEO for several large Minnesota-based companies, including Jostens, Fairview Health Services, Faribault Woolen Mill, and Dairy Queen. Mooty has served as the former Chair of the University of Minnesota Foundation. He was inducted into the Minnesota Business Hall of Fame in 2022. 

Olson Tom

Tom Olson

Tom Olson is the retired co-managing director of Prime Mortgage and a current officer on the University of Minnesota Foundation Board of Trustees. He also serves as a board member and committee chair on the University of Minnesota Physicians Board of Directors. Olson holds a business degree from the Carlson School of Management. He is a former member of the Holmes Center for Entrepreneurship Advisory Board and has served as chair of the Minnesota Medical Foundation Board of Trustees when it merged with UMF in 2013.

Perrault Jean (Rudy)

Jean (Rudy) Perrault

Jean (Rudy) Perrault, born in Port-au-Prince, Haiti, is a sought-after educator/clinician, composer, performer, and conductor, nationally and internationally. He is Professor of Music and Director of Orchestras at the University of Minnesota Duluth, and a frequent judge/panelist at festivals and competitions in all corners of the world. He is a Fulbright Scholar and the recipient of the 2022 UMD College of Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences (CAHSS) Research, Scholarship, and Creative Activity award. Rudy is a founding member of the Kako Foundation, a non-profit organization dedicated to bringing music to at-risk youth in the U.S. and Haiti. He has served in various leadership positions including as president of the University Education Association-Duluth. He earned his master’s degree in Music Performance from Temple University.

Sheldon Ann

Ann Sheldon

Ann Sheldon recently retired as Vice President of Product Security at Medtronic. She worked for Medtronic for 28 years and prior to that Rosemount Controls and NordicTrack. She is the Past Chair of the University of Minnesota Alumni Association Board of Directors, and served on the Nominating and Board Development Committee, Finance and Audit Committee, Medtronic Alumni Network Leaders group, and the UMAA Intellectual Property Task Force. Sheldon earned a B.M.E. from the University of Minnesota and also completed the Minnesota Executive Program.

Verkuilen Matthew

Matthew Verkuilen

Matthew Verkuilen, is an Information Technology Professional in Academic Technology and Design within the College of Continuing and Professional Studies. He serves as the current Civil Service Senate Chair at the University of Minnesota. He holds a bachelor of science in business management. Verkuilen is a musician, educator, a huge advocate for arts education and youth leadership programs, as well as veteran support programs within Minnesota. Since 2000, he has been involved in leadership and founding positions within multiple non-profits. In 2015, he founded Wolf Paw Enterprises, a consulting firm whose focus is helping small businesses with their start-up technology and infrastructure needs.

Wagner John

John Wagner

John Wagner is a Professor in the Department of Pediatrics, Division of Blood and Marrow Transplant & Cellular Therapy. He is the Founding Director of the Institute of Cell, Gene and Immunotherapeuties at the University of Minnesota. Wagner serves as the Co-Director of the Center for Translational Medicine, and holds two endowed chairs—Children's Cancer Research Fund/Hageboeck Family Chair in Childhood Cancer Research, and the University of Minnesota McKnight-Presidential Chair. His research is focused on the development of novel cell therapies for treatment of life threatening diseases. Wagner is best known for his pioneering work on the use of placental/cord blood as a source of stem cells for transplantation – a procedure that has now been performed in more than 50,000 patients worldwide.