Bruininks to be treated for cancer

He will undergo surgery on Feb. 1, according to a statement.

Bruininks to be treated for cancer

Jessica Van Berkel

University of Minnesota President Bob Bruininks announced Tuesday that he has stage 1 prostate cancer and will undergo surgery Feb. 1. In a statement on the University of MinnesotaâÄôs Web site, Bruininks, 67, said he plans to return to his position as president after taking a few weeks off in February. âÄúI have every confidence that the University will not miss a beat during this brief period,âÄù he said in the statement. It has not been determined who will take over while Bruininks is recovering, but Provost Tom Sullivan or Chief of Staff Kathryn Brown are often left in charge while Bruininks is out of town, University spokesman Dan Wolter said. Wolter said the designation of authority is âÄúrelatively routineâÄù and sometimes operates on a rotating schedule. âÄúOther than a few weeks of recovery time here, my understanding is this will have minimal impact,âÄù he said. The president will undergo surgery at the University of Minnesota, Wolter said. After his surgery, the president will have to decide whether he wants to extend the amount of time he is absent. The president is currently out of town on a work-related fundraising trip and will return before the end of the month, Wolter said. In his statement, Bruininks said that âÄúit is always nerve-racking to hear the word âÄòcancerâÄô from your doctor, but I am extremely fortunate that the University is home to a world-class cancer center.âÄù Prostate cancer is the second most common cancer among American men after skin cancer and was responsible for about 29,000 deaths in the United States in 2008, according to the National Cancer Institute. However, prostate cancer is slow to develop and many men live with the early stages of it for a long time after their diagnosis and die later of natural causes, according to the Institute. Bruininks said he intends to finish his term as president, which ends June 2011, after which he will return to his faculty responsibilities. Bruininks became the UniversityâÄôs president in November 2002 after working at the University for more than 40 years. He began at the University in 1968 as an assistant professor in educational psychology and has been a provost, executive vice president, dean and professor. âÄîIan Larson and Devin Henry contributed to this report. Link to statement: http://www1.umn.edu/pres/