Hazelden VP fills vacant University regents spot

Brad Unangst

.O’Keefe resigned Monday. By state law, the governor is allowed to name an interim regent to fill a vacant seat.

Bell, who is the executive vice president for publishing and education services for the Hazelden Foundation, was unavailable for comment.

Hazelden is an alcohol and drug treatment center in Center City, Minn.

Jon Wodele, Gov. Jesse Ventura’s spokesman said Ventura feels Bell’s experience in government and business will allow him to ask tough questions regarding accountability at the University.

“(Bell) knows a lot about a lot of things. He has a varied background not tied to one background or school of thought,” Wodele said.

Prior to working at Hazelden, Bell served as executive vice president at TCF Financial Corporation of Minneapolis for five years and provided cultural diversity training and alcohol and drug abuse prevention for a variety of national and international organizations from 1990-94. He also co-founded the Institute for Black Chemical Abuse in Minneapolis, which he headed for 15 years.

Bell has served on the board of directors for several civic and social organizations including Citizens League, and the Center of the American Spirit, according to his resume.

Bell has also authored books for Hazelden and served on Ventura’s 1999 transition team.

O’Keefe – who is president of the Minneapolis College of Art and Design – recently resigned from the board, citing concerns raised by his colleagues on the Minnesota Private College Council about a conflict of interest.