DES MOINES | A Spirit Lake native and University of Iowa sophomore will represent the interest of her peers as the newest student member of the state’s Board of Regents.
Gov. Terry Branstad appointed Hannah Walsh, 20, to the board Friday to replace Greta Johnson, who no longer attends a regents university. Walsh’s term begins immediately.
Walsh, a political science major, said she believed she stood out as a candidate because of her experience working as a page in the Iowa Senate.
As the student Board of Regents representative, Walsh said it will be her job to convey the interests and concerns of her peers attending one of the state’s three public universities.
“I think the tuition freeze is going to be big,” Walsh said. “In-state students don’t want to see their tuition go up. We’re at a time where student debt is a huge issue.”
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Walsh, whose term is subject to Senate confirmation, will start immediately and will serve through April 30, 2015.
The board is tasked with overseeing the state’s public university system. Duties include creating strategic plans for the state’s universities, reviewing academic programs, and approving budgets, tuition and fees.
Branstad said Walsh, who also co-chairs the University of Iowa Governmental Relations Committee, stood out as a student leader.
“It is important for students to have an effective advocate who understands their concerns, and Hannah will be an effective leader for students at all three state universities,” Branstad said in a written statement.
Walsh said she looks forward to participating in her first board meeting on Dec. 5.
“It’s a huge honor. I still haven’t wrapped my head around it,” she said.