Dr. Rebecca Cunningham sits before the Board of Regents
Credit: University of Minnesota | YouTube
Dr. Rebecca Cunningham answers questions during her final interview with the University of Minnesota board of regents before she was selected, Feb. 26, 2024, as UMN's 18th president.

Dr. Rebecca Cunningham beats out Bloomberg, Holloway as UMN's next president

Cleveland State's President Laura Bloomberg, Ph.D. was one of the three finalists for the position to which the University of Minnesota on Feb. 26 appointed Cunningham as its president-select.

The University of Minnesota board of regents has selected Dr. Rebecca Cunningham as UMN's next president, beating out two other finalists, including Cleveland State University's current President Dr. Laura Bloomberg.

The UMN board made the announcement Monday afternoon, following a final interview with the candidates which was broadcast live on YouTube earlier in the day.

"We are thrilled that  Dr. Cunningham will be our next leader and encourage you to learn more about her in the coming months as we welcome her into the University community," the board said in its announcement, following a seven-month search.

Since 2019, Cunningham has been the University of Michigan's vice president for research and innovation. Cunningham also worked as an emergency room physician for over 20 years in that state.

“What draws me to Dr. Cunningham are the qualifications and experience that I think are unique to her,” Janie Mayeron, chair of the board, said. “In her role as Vice President of Research and Innovation at this premier institution… she reports to and regularly advises Michigan’s President and Board of Regents on all facets of its operations.”

The final candidates were Cunningham, Dr. James Holloway, provost at the University of New Mexico, and Bloomberg.

Bloomberg to remain at CSU

“While I was not chosen for the role of president at my alma mater, the University of Minnesota,” Bloomberg said on Monday, “I was honored to be considered."

CSU board of trustees Chair David Reynolds said that Bloomberg has the board’s full support and looks forward to continuing to work with her on the many critical initiatives underway at Cleveland State, including the ongoing development of the University’s strategic plan. 

“CSU’s students remain our focus,” Reynolds said, “and we know Laura joins us in wanting to make sure we have the plans and programs in place to assure our University has the organizational resilience and financial stability to succeed in the future.”

"I am very happy to be here at CSU serving as the University’s eighth president and look forward to continuing to work with our board and the University’s senior leadership team to support our faculty and students," Bloomberg said.