Colleagues view new

by Stacy Jo

A temporary piece of masking tape over the nameplate outside 220 Morrill Hall reflects the recency of the transition within the University’s administration.
Last week, the Board of Regents hired Greg Brown to replace Steve Bosacker as their acting executive director and corporate secretary. Bosacker left the position to become interim chief of staff for Gov.-elect Jesse Ventura on Nov. 9.
Three days after his appointment, Brown stepped into what would otherwise be the monthly climax of his new job: the regents’ committee meetings.
In his new position, Brown will synthesize information for the regents, helping to determine which issues merit the board’s attention.
Brown left his work as an attorney for the University’s general counsel to accept the job in the regents’ office.
“This position is radically different than what I’ve done before,” Brown said. “I think that was part of the appeal.”
However, Brown, who has worked at the University since 1991, does not come to the job without knowledge of the board’s central issues or experience working with the regents.
After writing and negotiating the University’s landmark contract with the Coca-Cola company and acting as a primary player in the University’s sale of its food service operations to Aramark Corp., Brown said much of his earlier work has reached the regents’ conference table.
“I think he’ll help the regents with all the constituencies he’s dealt with in the past,” said Bill Donohue, deputy general counsel and Brown’s former supervisor.
During his years as a corporate attorney, Brown negotiated the major contracts for the majority of the University’s coaches. His clients have included men’s basketball coach Clem Haskins and men’s hockey coach Doug Woog.
Brown worked on the contracts with McKinley Boston, vice president for student development and athletics. The critical thinking and communication skills Brown exhibited during the coaching negotiations will serve him well in his new endeavor, Boston said.
“He’s been able to effectively wear different hats in the University community,” Boston said.
Brown plans to work with the regents to determine space specifications for the board’s future home on the sixth floor of the University Gateway, a center for alumni and visitors. Because construction of the building is slated for fall 1999, the decisions need to be made during his term, Brown said.
He also hopes to blur the line between administration and the rest of the University, he said.
Along with wanting to make the regents more visible to students and encouraging the administration to do more work outside of Morrill Hall, Brown — who said he rarely dons a suit — takes issue with the barriers imposed by the administration’s formal attire.
“Students aren’t wearing suits. Faculty aren’t wearing suits. The only people wearing suits are administrators,” Brown said.
But Brown has no intentions of overhauling the system.
“Only a fool would come in here and start tinkering with what they’ve done,” he said.
Brown said he wants to continue working on the projects that his predecessor began, especially since Bosacker might return if he’s not asked to become part of the Ventura’s administration.
Should Ventura ask Bosacker to join his administration and not return to the University, Brown said he would gladly accept the permanent position. Brown is guaranteed the job until Jan. 4; the future of the position will be decided after Ventura’s inauguration on Jan. 5.
However, if Bosacker returns to the position, Brown said he will have no problem returning to his work at the general counsel’s office.
“I wouldn’t cry a minute if I went back to practicing law,” Brown said.