Inquiry into regent’s possible conflict of interest starts Tuesday

by Conor Shine

The investigation into Regent Steve Sviggum’s dual roles at the University of Minnesota – and the possible conflicts of interest that arise — will get underway this week.

A committee of three regents, led by board chair Clyde Allen, will meet twice this week to discuss Sviggum, who also holds a paid fellowship at the Humphrey Institute for Public Affairs. 

The group will meet Tuesday to organize the inquiry and go over materials related to Sviggum’s possible conflict of interest.

Thursday, the group is slated to “discuss and determine whether a conflict exists,” according to a University statement.

Sviggum, a former legislator, was one of three new regents appointed by the Legislature last month and has taught classes at the University for several years.

Under a contract signed February 4, he received a new title, a pay raise, and increased responsibilities including fundraising for the Humphrey school.

Regents policy defines conflict of interest as any personal interest, financial or otherwise, in a matter appearing before the board that “may impair independence of judgment.”

A full report on Sviggum’s potential conflicts of interest will be presented at the board’s next meeting in May.