Interim President’s Report to the Board of Regents

July 12, 2023


Thank you Chair Mayeron. 

Grateful to be here today in front of you all, and truly honored to be serving as Interim President of the University of Minnesota. 

Only been in office for a month, but already have had many onboarding meetings and briefings:

  • Individual Regents and Board leadership 
  • The Senior leadership team
  • Other Academic leaders, including TC Deans Council leadership
  • Faculty, staff, and student governance leaders
  • Governor Walz and legislative leaders
  • Friends of the University, including many alumni and donors
  • Three Former University of Minnesota presidents, three former Regent chairs, and three former Minnesota Governors
  • Many more

I’ve also had the chance to attend many events, including: 

  • UMR Onward Celebration (could describe)
  • Wallin Scholars Dinner
  • UMAA Annual Social
  • UMF Arboretum Gala 
  • UMF Summer Celebration
  • President’s Award for Outstanding Service Reception
  • Big Ten Council of Presidents
  • Greater MSP Board of Directors meeting
  • Represented the U as part of a CHIPS Act panel hosted by Senator Amy Klobuchar and Commerce Secretary Gina Raimondo

Looking forward to representing the University and continuing to meet members of the U of M community at events in the coming months …

Visits scheduled to each of the system campuses in greater MN 

–Crookston, Duluth, and Morris (already visited Rochester for Onward event)

–Working with chancellors on what those look like

Hiring an Executive Director of Government Relations. 

–Will play pivotal role in the U’s interactions at state, federal, and local levels

–Critical position for the U; search will proceed on an expedited timeline

–New hire will report directly to the president, but will coordinate and collaborate extensively with the entire University team as we advance and elevate our advocacy.

We’ll be rolling out a new marketing campaign in the coming months that I think you’ll love. 

It will remind the public of our many research strengths and accomplishments.

We are continuing to discuss the future of health care in MN, making sure Minnesotans have access to a leading academic health system, with integrated research, teaching, and top-level clinical care. You will receive an update on this topic at the board retreat this week.

I look forward to continuing my office’s partnership with Minnesota Tribes, and working with Senior Advisor Karen Diver, from whom you will hear in this meeting with an update on Native American affairs. 

We are also working to schedule regular meetings with Tribal leaders this year.

I’d also like to congratulate Athletic Director Mark Coyle for the outstanding success of Golden Gopher student-athletes this past year, especially in the classroom. You’ll hear about that shortly, too.

There’s been a lot of talk and concern about how the Supreme Court’s ruling on affirmative action will affect admission and enrollment at our campuses. 

A working group led by the Provost’s Office has been preparing for this decision. 

Will ensure that our processes are compliant with the ruling, and that we continue to live out our values of diversity, equity, inclusion, and access. 

As far as other priorities for the year: 

We are well-guided by the goals outlined in MPact 2025—our systemwide strategic plan—and I intend to support the great momentum we’ve built through that.

I’ve thought carefully about other priorities for the year ahead.

They’re informed by my initial conversations with the senior leadership team, and many others across the U community and beyond. 

I look forward to finalizing these priorities over the coming days during the Board’s retreat, ensuring that they are in alignment with the Board’s priorities for the year. 

In summary, I’d like to add that I had a sense from a distance of how strong the U of M is, and what it means for the state of MN.

But after immersing myself in this community and hearing stories firsthand—from faculty, students, proud alumni, donors, other stakeholders—my impressions have been amplified. 

This truly is a special place… 

We’re on the right trajectory… 

And I’m incredibly optimistic for the year ahead. 


Thank you Chair Mayeron; this concludes my report.