Addressing Inclusivity as University of Minnesota Presidential-Finalist Visits

Callan Gray
Updated: December 09, 2018 10:32 PM

It will be a busy week ahead for Joan Gabel, the woman currently expected to become the 17th president of the University of Minnesota. She will visit each of the five campuses and answer questions during public forums.

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Gabel is currently the provost at the University of South Carolina.

She will visit the University of Minnesota's Twin Cities campus first on Monday.

Her visit comes just a week after vandalism, referencing white supremacy and Nazi sentiments, were discovered in a residence hall.

"I hope they ask about some of the anti-semitic things that have been going on lately," said Simran Chandak, a freshman business student. "I have Jewish friends and they've been feeling oppressed this week especially."

She also hopes if Gabel gets the job she'll do more to support inclusive programs.

"I think there's still this big issue with diversity and how there aren't that many people of color at this institution," she said.

Fellow freshman Ruth Chun, a marketing major, agreed.

"I think it would be really interesting to see how she hopes to tackle issues of diversity on campus," she said.

Each public forum will last an hour, except for the first at the Twin Cities campus, which will be an hour and 15 minutes.

On Tuesday, Gabel will head to the Morris and Crookston campuses. She visits Duluth on Wednesday and Rochester on Thursday.

"She definitely looks very qualified," said Peter Wicks, a sophomore political science major.

He wants to see how she responds to questions over tuition, especially for out of state students.

"I hope the new president can make it one of their priorities to have affordable tuition for everybody," he said.

Gabel beat out 66 other applicants to get to this week. If she gets the job, Gabel would make history as the first woman to lead the University.

"I love that she's a woman," said Chandak. "I think this campus needs more women leaders and this is a step in the right direction."

Gabel will have a public interview with the Board of Regents on Friday. President Eric Kaler retires on July 1, 2019.


Callan Gray

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