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Regents Select Richards President

Dean Borg/IPR
Dr. Michael Richards was unanimously elected president of the Board of Regents Monday.

Iowa’s Board of Regents has elected Dr. Michael Richards as the new board president.  He’s a 1970 University of Iowa Medical School graduate now living in West Des Moines.

Richards is a physician and former Unity Point health care executive. He was appointed to the board a year ago this month.  Richards lists setting tuition and getting a new president at Iowa State as the most immediate issues. 

“In order to talk about tuition, we need to have a more introspective and transparent process,” Richards said at today’s meeting.  “I think we need to work with all the constituent groups -- the legislature, the parents, the students, the faculty and staff, to have a more prospective and less reactive approach to how we deal with funding our institutions.”

Richards also says he wants to listen to Iowans.

“We’d like to have an opportunity for people to address the Board of Regents in approximately a 30-minute forum where they can sign up ahead of time and talk for two or three minutes,” he said.

Regent Larry McKibben of Marshalltown had indicated he’d like to be regents president, but wasn’t nominated, and moved the closing of nominations after Regent Sherry Bates nominated Dr. Richards.            

Richards replaces Bruce Rastetter, whose term ended yesterday.

Regents have also elected Patty Cownie, a 1966 University of Iowa sociology graduate, as president pro tem.