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Gov. Steve Bullock named two new members to the state Board of Regents on Wednesday, bringing the board back to a full seven members.

Bullock announced his appointments late Wednesday, naming Bill Johnstone and Martha Sheehy to the board that governs the Montana University System.

Sheehy, a Billings attorney, specializes in constitutional law, media law and contract issues. Sheehy graduated magna cum laude and first in her class from the University of Montana’s School of Law in 1988.

“The most important thing to me is to maintain the vitality of the university system at all levels,” Sheehy said Wednesday. “It’s important to our economy, to our students and to all who hold a degree that vitality remains.“

Sheehy currently practices at the Sheehy Law Firm in Billings, and served on the board of Youth Dynamics Inc. and the YWCA of Billings. She earned her bachelor’s degree with honors from Montana State University in 1996.

“While I don’t have an education background, I have a research background,” Sheehy said. “It’s been my job for 25 years to delve deeply into the issues in front of me, figure them out and come up with solutions.“

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Also named to the board was Johnstone, who currently serves as chairman and CEO of D.A. Davidson Cos. He, too, brings a background practicing law, in Minnesota with the Dorsey and Whitney Law Firm, where he worked until 2000.

Johnson worked as an adjunct law professor at the University of Minnesota Law School, and as an adjunct law instructor at the University of Montana’s School of Law, both positions he held in the 1970s.

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Johnstone couldn’t be reached for comment Wednesday.

The appointments are Bullock’s first to the board since he named Missoula nonprofit leader Fran Albrecht to a vacant position last September. Albrecht replaced Pat Williams, whose confirmation to the board was blocked by the Legislature in April 2013.

Bullock recently appointed former Regent Angela McLean to serve as lieutenant governor, leaving her position vacant. Regent Todd Buchanan’s term expired, creating the second vacancy.

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Reporter Martin Kidston can be reached at 523-5260, or at martin.kidston@missoulian.com.

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