Education

Student regent Rachael Johnson to leave board next month

Governor just appointed 3 of the 9 board members

Regent Rachael Johnson listens during a Sept. 6, 2017, board meeting at the Iowa Memorial Union in Iowa City. (Stephen Mally/The Gazette)
Regent Rachael Johnson listens during a Sept. 6, 2017, board meeting at the Iowa Memorial Union in Iowa City. (Stephen Mally/The Gazette)

Rachael Johnson, who was appointed in 2015 to become a student member of the Board of Regents but since has graduated from the University of Northern Iowa, will leave the board next month with about two years left in her term, the board said Monday.

Johnson was appointed to the volunteer board that oversees the state’s three public universities and two special schools by then-Gov. Terry Branstad. To fill the remainder of the term, which expires in 2021, Gov. Kim Reynolds would need to name an interim who, like all regent nominees, eventually would need to be confirmed by the Iowa Senate, according to a board spokesman.

“I am grateful to have been the student member of the Board of Regents for the past four years,” Johnson said in a statement. “Serving Iowa’s public universities, special schools, and citizens as a Regent has been an honor and a privilege. My time on the Board has been an experience I will always treasure. I am proud of all that the Board has accomplished the past four years, and I have no doubt these successes will continue in the future.”

Johnson, who is from Sioux City, graduated summa cum laude with a bachelor’s degree in elementary and middle level education a year ago from UNI.

For the last year, she participated in the Truman Albright Fellows program and worked for the Truman Scholarship Foundation as its resident scholar, according to the board office. She plans to pursue a master’s degree in public administration.

In 2017, she was awarded the Truman Scholarship, given yearly by the Harry S. Truman Foundation in supporting up-and-coming public service leaders.

“Regent Johnson has been an outstanding member of the Board, and I am so appreciative of her service,” said board President Mike Richards in a statement. “She is exceedingly committed to public higher education and has been a strong advocate for our Regent institutions. She also did a remarkable job on a variety of Board committees, including as chair of our Campus and Student Affairs Committee. We wish her nothing but the best moving forward.”

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The resignation, which takes effect April 30, gives the governor another seat on the board to appoint. Earlier this month, she named GOP donor David Barker of Iowa City to join the nine-member board when Larry McKibben’s term expires next month.

She also reappointed Milt Dakovich of Waterloo to another six-year term and re-upped the service of Jim Lindenmayer of Ottumwa, who started serving on the board only last summer to fill a vacancy.

The board, which among other things sets tuition rates for students at UNI, the University of Iowa and Iowa State University, has set its next meeting for April 18-19 at the UI.

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