After Montana Board of Regents Chair Angela McLean was appointed by Governor Steve Bullock as his new Lieutenant Governor, there were actually two vacancies to be filled.

Deputy Commissioner of Higher Education Kevin McRae said on Tuesday, February 11, that turnover on the seven member board naturally occurs every year.

"We do have some turnover on the board, and some of it is natural, anticipated turnover, while some of it is unexpected," McRae said. "With former Regent Chair Angela McLean moving on to become the lieutenant governor of Montana. The Board of Regents is a seven member board when it is fully appointed and operated. The terms on the board last seven years, and one position comes open every year."

McRae said one regent is due to be replaced in 2014.

"The seat held by current regent Todd Buchanan of Billings expires this year," McRae said. " We know the governor will be making an appointment to fill that seat. Similarly, now the governor will have to make an appointment to fill the seat of Angela McLean. So, whether we have five members or seven members on the board, we move forward smoothly with the operation of the Montana University System."

McRae said the board is chosen in such a way that all regions of the state are represented.

There are an equal number of regents representing the east and western parts of the state," McRae said. "Politically, no more than "x" number of regents may be members of any one particular party."

McRae said he fully expects Lieutenant Governor McLean to remember her former role as regent, when it comes to speaking up for higher education in Montana.

"It's nice to know that other members of state government have an awareness of, and a commitment to education," McRae said. "It's also nice to know that regent McLean will be making that transition and bringing her experiences and perspectives to that office."

Deputy Commissioner of Higher Education Kevin McRae