Phyllis Kahn

When Phyllis Kahn isn’t training for marathons, she’s making sure other women have the opportunity to follow their athletic dreams.
The 26-year incumbent and avid runner pioneered legislation in the state to ensure that girls have the same opportunities in sports as boys. The University’s women’s hockey team was made possible because of her work, she said.
Originally from the East Coast, Kahn came to Minnesota with her husband to work at the University in 1962. Armed with a bachelor’s degree in physics from Cornell and a doctorate in biophysics from Yale, she went to work as a research assistant in genetics and cell biology. Her husband, Donald, still works as a math professor.
Stemming from her scientific training, Kahn has focused on environmental legislation during her career. She engineered many bills for parks, bike trails and maintaining the “urban forest.”
Kahn chairs the Governmental Operations committee in the House. Her committee is responsible for addressing the year 2000 computer glitch and for the constitutional amendment to abolish the treasurer’s office on the ballot this year.
While she doesn’t sit on the Higher Education committee, Kahn has been outspoken on University issues. She lobbied adamantly against tinkering with tenure programs for faculty and in favor of moving the steam plant from the East Bank of campus, a battle she lost two years ago.

*slot-read by Jenny W.