ST. PAUL - After a two-hour public interview Friday morning, the University of Minnesota Board of Regents is preparing to make Joan Gabel its next president.

Regents plan to meet once more Tuesday, Dec. 18, to vote on an employment contract for the University of South Carolina provost, who is the lone finalist to succeed Eric Kaler next summer.

Gabel, 50, would be the university’s 17th president and first woman to hold the position.

A weeklong tour of the university system’s five campuses culminated in a question-and-answer session Friday that left little doubt Gabel will be offered and will accept the job.

Asked about student input, she said that at South Carolina, students are “at the table where we didn’t have them before” as important decisions are made.

Rosha suggested Gabel had the potential to be a “generational leader” at the university, unlike the average Big Ten president, who stays five or six years.

She said it could be mutually beneficial to join the university earlier in her career than most.

“As long as I’m doing good work,” she said, “I don’t see why (I) would stop.”