In 1937, a deadlock between liberals and conservatives in the Minnesota legislature stopped Governor Benson from filling four vacancies on the University of Minnesota’s Board of Regents. The inability of legislators to agree on their own appointments was a partial political boon for Benson, who selected long-term supporters and tipped the board in the favor of academic freedom, better salaries for faculty after the Depression, and other progressive priorities. Because of the inability of the legislature to select regents, Benson could only appoint his choices for a two-year, rather than the full six-year terms.
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