U official appointed to commission

by Lora Pabst

Gov. Tim Pawlenty appointed Robert Jones, the University’s senior vice president for System Administration, to the Midwestern Higher Education Commission on Monday.

The commission, also known as the Midwestern Higher Education Compact, comprises 11 states.

Larry Isaak, Midwestern Higher Education Compact president, said Jones will address various issues during his time as a commissioner.

“He will be involved in providing guidance in terms of what the compact services are to the states,” he said.

The compact works in three main areas: providing students access to higher education, integrating higher education with the work force, and purchasing cost-saving initiatives in areas that all the colleges and universities use, Isaak said.

Five commissioners represent each state. In Minnesota, the governor appoints three commissioners and the state Legislature appoints two.

John Berns, Pawlenty’s appointments coordinator, said Jones was recommended by University President Bob Bruininks, who served on the compact board in the past.

“We wanted to get somebody from the (University) who is a top-level leader there,” Berns said. “Dr. Jones is certainly well-qualified.”

Jones replaces William Hogan on the compact board. Jones will serve a four-year term ending Jan. 5, 2009.

Isaak met with Jones and said he was pleased with the appointment.

“Dr. Jones Ö is familiar with issues from an institutional and statewide policy perspective,” Isaak said.

The University has had a member on the compact board since 1991. The offices for the compact are housed on the University campus.

Jones could not be reached for comment by press time.