MINNEAPOLIS (AP) _ University of South Carolina Provost Joan Gabel has been named the first female president in the 167-year history of the University of Minnesota.

The school's governing board voted unanimously Tuesday to approve a five-year contract for Joan Gabel. She'll earn $640,000 annually. She'll become the university's 17th president next July 1.

The Board of Regents earlier this month had chosen the 50-year-old Gabel as the only finalist to succeed Eric Kaler, who is stepping down as president next year after eight years at the school's helm.

The University of Minnesota has five campuses across the state with a total enrollment of nearly 56,000 undergraduate and graduate students.