Yudof begins orientation in 2nd visit

by Joel Sawyer

Mark Yudof returns for his second tour of the tundra today, as he begins a week-long series of briefings aimed at bringing the president-elect up to speed on University matters.
Yudof, the executive vice president and provost of the University of Texas at Austin, will meet with administrators, faculty and student leaders in an attempt to forge ties, build trust and learn as much as possible about the inner workings of the school.
Board of Regents Executive Director and Corporate Secretary Steve Bosacker characterized Yudof’s trip as a fact-finding mission.
“He’s going to soak up like a sponge” all the information he can about the University, Bosacker said.
While in Minnesota, Yudof will meet extensively with University President Nils Hasselmo to discuss a variety of policy and organizational matters. He will also accompany Hasselmo and the University’s Executive Council on a budget retreat scheduled for Tuesday.
Although Yudof’s primary task will be to meet with University officials, he will also meet with students and find time to enjoy himself.
Yudof will have breakfast Friday morning with Minnesota Student Association and Graduate and Professional Student Assembly leaders at Coffman Memorial Union.
“We’re just going to sit down and see where he’s at with student relations,” MSA President Helen Phin said.
Student leaders were vocal in their opposition to Yudof and the presidential search process last month.
No official schedule for the visit has been released because there are no public meetings planned, and because University officials fear the same kind of media attention that afflicted Yudof last month.
“Media representatives were waking him up in his room early in the morning,” said University Public Relations Representative Mike Nelson. During this trip, “he wants to hunker down a bit and spend some time getting settled.”
Yudof will also meet with Gov. Arne Carlson following the governor’s State of the State address Thursday, attend a men’s hockey game Saturday and on Sunday listen to a Martin Luther King Jr. memorial concert at Ted Mann Concert Hall.
Yudof will be aided in his transition from Texas to the University by a team of senior administrators and a faculty that will arrange a briefing and meeting schedule for the coming months. Yudof has said he hopes to return to the University at least once a month as the transition approaches.
“He just doesn’t fly in and magically take over,” said Faculty Consultative Committee chair Virginia Gray.
Gray, along with Vice President for Student Development and Athletics McKinley Boston, Senior Vice President for Finance and Operations Jo Anne Jackson, Morris Campus Chancellor David Johnson and Senior Vice President for Academic Affairs Marvin Marshak will serve on the transition team.
Yudof will take over for Hasselmo July 1, the day after Hasselmo retires.