Andrea Turner accepted an offer to work as the chief aide for the University’s top governing board last week. But she has yet to read a job description.
“I still haven’t seen one of those,” said Turner, the new executive director and corporate secretary for the Board of Regents.
But she thinks there is a reason for the lapse. It allowed her to articulate her own vision for the job instead of simply repeating what the search committee wanted to hear.
The way Turner conveyed the corporate secretary’s role helped her edge out 104 other candidates for the position. As corporate secretary, she will serve as a liaison between the board and other University officials. Her duties include organizing the regents’ monthly agenda and overseeing the board’s office staff.
Turner will officially begin April 26, but will not move to the Twin Cities until the beginning of May.
She replaces Steven Bosacker, who left the University in November to work as Gov. Jesse Ventura’s chief of staff. Greg Brown, who has filled the position since Bosacker’s departure, said he will return to his former position as a lawyer with the Office of General Counsel.
Turner also possesses a law degree, but she doesn’t practice. She obtained the degree because she thought it would be beneficial for many potential career pursuits. Her experience — which includes problem-solving and advising — made her a stand-out candidate, said Regent Bob Bergland.
“It is, above all else, a people job,” said Bergland, a member of the search committee.
Turner got her first taste of the job on Friday at the board’s monthly meetings. She listened to the morning presentations, which she will help coordinate next month.
“I’m glad I got a chance to see (a board meeting) before being in one,” Turner said.
Turner lives in Plover, Wisc., and works as the special assistant to the chancellor for equity and affirmative action at the University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point. She is also the executive director of multicultural affairs for the school.
She said her experience with affirmative action and diversity issues could follow her to the University. After hearing the regents’ Friday discussion about diversity on campus, she said she would be willing to offer her ideas if called upon.
“Diversity is not an abstract concept,” Turner said. “You’ve got to live it.”
Turner follows her own advice — at least in terms of the diversity of her interests. Aside from management consulting on the side, Turner is a photography buff and makes her own stained glass. She also writes when she wants to relax.
“At some point in my life, I’d like to get a novel published,” Turner said.
She has written 12 stories with common characters and themes — her collection of “anecdotal observations.” The ongoing project claims her attention about once every other month.