Pawlenty chief of staff to direct U center

Matt Kramer, Pawlenty’s chief of staff since 2006, will begin Aug. 17.

Matt Kramer, Gov. Tim PawlentyâÄôs chief of staff since 2006, has been hired by the University of Minnesota as director of the Academic and Corporate Relations Center and will leave his position with the governor to begin work Aug. 17. The ACRC works with businesses to find sponsors for faculty research and, among other things, establish initiatives and programs that create opportunities for businesses that are âÄúunderrepresented,âÄù according to the programâÄôs website. The announcement comes during a hiring freeze imposed by University President Bob Bruininks in November. Bruininks stipulated that only positions âÄúessential to University operationsâÄù would be filled. These issues include critical health and safety functions, or those functions that ensure that the University meets its academic and fiduciary responsibilities, Bruininks said then. Kramer will earn $146,000 per year at the University âÄî a $26,000 raise from his position under the governor, according to the Associated Press. Kramer’s hiring was authorized by University Vice President Karen Himle and approved by Bruininks to fill the job, which was recently vacated by a retirement, the AP reported. Kramer joined Pawlenty’s administration when he was appointed head of the state’s economic development agency, and was Pawlenty’s fourth chief of staff in seven years. Pawlenty has not named a successor for his final 15 months in office.