Judy Yudof donates her time and support to the University

by Brianne Rasmussen

Looking at her calendar, Judy Yudof realizes she has appointments, meetings and events every day this month.
Whether attending a social function with her husband — University President Mark Yudof — or leading an alumnus on a tour through the “hidden treasures on campus,” she always has University business on her schedule.
Despite all she does for the University, Yudof is not paid and she doesn’t expect to be.
In August, the Association of American Universities recommended that university presidents’ spouses be offered a title and a salary. The association also suggested schools explain their expectations for a president’s spouse during the hiring process.
Before coming to the University, the Board of Regents offered Yudof the title of University Associate and explained what they expected from her.
But during these discussions, pay was not discussed and Yudof wasn’t about to bring it up.
“I knew that I would have a great deal expected of me,” she said. “I was willing to do that, and I was not expected to be compensated for it.”
Yudof was eventually given the new title of Associate to the President for Outreach, which she said better reflects her job at the University.
When her husband was recovering from gastrointestinal surgery last spring, Yudof was chosen from a long list of people to cut the ribbon at the opening of the McNamara Alumni Center.
“We thought that she best represented the spirit of the support we had gotten from President Yudof in the final, critical stages of this important project,” said Yudof’s colleague and executive director of the University of Minnesota Alumni Association, Margaret Carlson.
When she’s not making public appearances, Yudof spends most of her time meeting alumni, donors and academics.
She uses the knowledge she gains from serving on several University and Twin Cities organizations’ boards as conversation topics when she meets with alumni.
When she attends social functions, she often finds herself seated next to a researcher or an academic who will tell her about their work.
“I almost always learn something in interacting with people,” she said.
Since the University is a member of the AAU, Yudof attends the partner meetings, and knows the topic of spouses getting paid is very sensitive.
Now that she has had her job for a couple of years, Yudof’s position has not changed.
“I didn’t come here with expectations of compensation, and (I) have none,” she said. “So far this is working for me.”