Top U official to head

by Heather Fors

Gov.-elect Jesse “The Mind” Ventura added a little University smarts to his team Monday morning when he appointed Steven Bosacker to interim chief of staff.
Bosacker, who serves as executive director and corporate secretary for the University’s Board of Regents, promised to keep quiet on University issues. But University President Mark Yudof and the regents said they’re satisfied that higher education will be represented in the new leadership.
As interim chief of staff, Bosacker will help plan Ventura’s cabinet and organize the governor-elect’s schedule — especially after the recent media blitz that left Ventura’s voice hoarse.
Bosacker handled similar scheduling tasks for Yudof when the president first took office.
He also worked for former Rep. Tim Penny, D-Minn., as chief of staff for two years. Penny helped Ventura with his gubernatorial campaign.
Employed at the University since 1994, Bosacker said it’s possible that his connection to the University had something to do with his appointment. Whether or not that’s the case, administrators are happy there’s someone from the University with a voice on Ventura’s staff.
“It doesn’t give us an in, but we have a person in the higher echelons of the administration who’s familiar with higher education,” Yudof said.
Already Bosacker suggested making focus groups of experts on state issues like education and the budget to advise Ventura.
“Whatever we do in hiring people and coming up with policies will be rooted in what Gov.-elect Ventura and Mae Schunk stand for,” Bosacker said, explaining that they will look out for the average citizen with little regard to political parties. Schunk, a St. Paul school teacher, is the lieutenant governor-elect.
Ventura said he and Bosacker will seek people in the private and public sector to fill his cabinet, yet they made no mention of prospective appointees.
On campus, University officials already found a replacement for Bosacker’s position.
The Board of Regents named Gregory Brown, an attorney with the University’s General Counsel since 1991, to fill Bosacker’s position as he aids Ventura.
As the interim executive director and corporate secretary to the Board of Regents, Brown will manage monthly meeting agendas, serve on the president’s cabinet and act as a liaison between the board and central administration.
At the same time, many University officials said they were sorry to see Bosacker take a leave of absence from the University — particularly if he remains at the capitol permanently.
“We lose his talents out of the regents office, but we also need state government run well,” said Regent David Metzen. “His office will be done in class.”