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Iowa Governor Reappoints Board of Regents Leader, Names Two New Members

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DES MOINES -- Gov. Terry Branstad announced new appointments to the state Board of Regents Friday, reappointing board President Craig Lang but tapping two new members to fill other spots.

The six-year board terms of Lang of Brooklyn, Jack Evans of Cedar Rapids and David Miles of Dallas Center all expire at the end of April this year. Miles, a Democrat and former regents president, and Evans, a Republican and former regents president pro tem, have served since 2007. Evans also is a member of The Gazette board of directors.

The new appointments announced by Branstad Friday are Robert Cramer of Grimes, and Dr. Subhash Sahai of Webster City, with terms to begin May 1. They were among numerous board and commission appointments Branstad announced Friday.

Miles and Evans both resigned from their leadership posts with the regents in July 2011 after Branstad requested they do so that May. Miles and Evans were appointed to the board by former Gov. Chet Culver.

At the time, Branstad said he respected and recognized the separate governance of the board, but he thought it was important "to have somebody that I think shares my general philosophy and somebody that we feel that we could work well with. I also feel that the relations with the Republican Legislature have been somewhat strained under the present leadership and this, I think, will also improve our relationship with the Legislature as well."

There was some speculation that Branstad's push for leadership change in 2011 was fall-out from a controversial board vote that April, when the regents voted 6-2 to approve a new public policy institute at Iowa State University named for Democratic Sen. Tom Harkin despite the objections of some Republican leaders and Branstad. The Harkin Institute has since led to more controversy, and Harkin has pulled his papers from the center.

When Miles and Evans resigned from the board leadership posts, Lang was elected board president and Bruce Rastetter was chosen as president pro tem. Branstad said at the time Lang was his choice for board president.

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