U of M Board of Regents names sole finalist for president

Joan Gabel, the provost at the University of South Carolina, is the sole finalist to be the University of Minnesota’s next president.

On Wednesday, the Board of Regents voted 11-1 to name Gabel as the only finalist for the job. Board Chairman David McMillan said Gabel would visit the state next week, and McMillan said he expected to have the hiring process done by Christmas.

Gabel has been provost at South Carolina since 2015. Before that, she was dean of the University of Missouri’s Trulaske College of Business. She has not previously worked in Minnesota.

“Provost Gabel has shown strong leadership at the University of South Carolina and her previous institutions, and the Presidential Search Advisory Committee strongly recommended her after in-depth analysis and a comparison of 67 total candidates,” McMillan said in a statement.

Gabel was among three candidates recommended by the University of Minnesota’s search committee, and the only one who agreed to be named publicly even if there were other finalists.

Regent Darrin Rosha was the only board member who voted against naming Gabel as the sole finalist. Rosha and two other regents said they wanted the opportunity to interview multiple candidates.

The other two candidates recommended by the search committee will remain in a private pool of candidates for now, the university said in a news release.


Next, Gabel will visit the University’s campuses in Crookston, Duluth, Morris, Rochester and the East Bank and St. Paul campuses for public forums Dec. 10-12.

These forums, combined with feedback received at president-search.umn.edu will inform the Board of Regents.

Dec. 14, the Board of Regents will interview Gabel at its regularly scheduled meeting.


Most recently, Gabel has served as the executive vice president for academic affairs and provost at the University of South Carolina since 2015. There, she oversaw the University’s Columbia campus.

Before her stop in South Carolina, Gabel was dean at the University of Missouri’s college of business for five years where she was named a “shining star” by the Wall Street Journal.

Previously, Gabel had stops at Florida State University, Georgia State University, the Atlanta Compliance and Ethics Roundtable and served as editor-in-chief of the American Business Law Journal.

An Atlanta, Georgia native, Gabel attended Haverford College in Pennsylvania before attending graduate school at the University of Georgia. She has a husband and three children.