Feb 26, 2024 - News

University of Minnesota names Rebecca Cunningham as its next president

rebecca cunningham head shot

Rebecca Cunningham. Photo courtesy of the University of Minnesota.

A University of Michigan leader with experience overseeing its research will be the next president of the University of Minnesota.

Why it matters: Dr. Rebecca Cunningham, selected Monday by the Board of Regents, will take the helm of the five-campus system at a critical time.

  • Like many universities across the country, the U is battling enrollment declines and rising costs.

What they're saying: She really expressed an appreciation for the attention that is needed across the system," regent Kodi Verhalen said, according to The Minnesota Daily. "She wants to emphasize preparing teams on the issue of the day so it doesn't become the crisis of the day."

Bio in brief: Cunningham, an emergency room doctor, currently serves as vice president for research and innovation at Michigan.

  • The role covers 13,000 staff and a $1.8 billion in research across the university's three campuses and a health system, per the Star Tribune.

Catch up fast: The U's search for a new leader began last year, after president Joan Gabel left for Pittsburgh.

  • The other finalists were Laura Bloomberg, a former Humphrey dean and current president of Cleveland State, and James Holloway, Provost and executive vice president for academic affairs at the University of New Mexico.

What's next: Cunningham is expected to be inaugurated on July 1.

This is a developing story.


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