Governor Terry Branstad has appointed a 20-year-old University of Iowa student to the board that governs the state universities. 

Hannah Walsh is from Spirit Lake and her major at the University of Iowa is political science. She’s been involved in student government at the university and during high school served as a page in the Iowa Senate. Her appointment to the Board of Regents is effectively immediately, meaning she’ll be a voting member at next week’s board meeting in Ames. The board will be voting on student tuition rates for the next academic year.

Walsh is filling out the term of Greta Johnson, a member of the Board of Regents who earned her undergraduate degree from Iowa State University in 2010 and her master’s from the University of Northern Iowa this past May. Johnson, a Le Mars native, is now working in the Iowa State University president’s office.

The student regent position rotates among the three state universities and it was the University of Iowa’s turn to have a student representative on the board. 

State law requires one of the nine members of the Board of Regents to be a full-time graduate or under graduate student at one of the three state universities when they are appointed to the board. Johnson was eligible to serve until next May, as state law allows a student Regent to remain on the board for a year after they’ve graduated, but she is now employed by Iowa State University, creating a conflict of interest.