Comments on having only one finalist for U-Minnesota prez

As we just reported, the pool of four finalists dropped down to two after the others declined to be part of a publicly named candidate pool.

After mentioning two candidates, the Board of Regents forwarded only one for consideration.

The regents seem to be bracing for the criticism. Here are some edited comments from after the meeting:

Regent Dean Johnson:

(On the decision to forward only one candidate): It is what it is. I suppose we all had different ideas of the process. .. It's just the way it all played out.

(On his emphasis at the meeting of sizing up the candidate in person): I don't have any apprehensions (about Kaler). Through my years of hiring people it's one thing to have someone on paper (and another to meet them in person.)

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Regent Chairman Clyde Allen:

(On denying that choosing only one finalist was a way to get around the legal requirement to disclose all finalists):

It was not a way to get around that. There will be that criticism. It became obvious that as individual regents went through the file, they wanted to bring in this person first. I don't know if (disclosing the second candidate after the other two dropped out) would have done any harm, but we weren't going to have more than one finalist just to give the appearance of choice.

Paul Strain, student rep on the Board of Regents:

I would like to have seen more candidates (as finalists), but I respect the board's decision. It's tough (for candidates) to be in the public spotlight. I'm excited that a lot of the regents were impressed with the candidate.