Statement from Board of Regents Chair Linda Cohen
January 17, 2012
"Steve Sviggum has a long and distinguished record of public service in the Legislature. The announcement that he has been appointed to a senior staff position with the majority caucus in the Minnesota Senate reflects his desire to continue public service to the citizens of Minnesota.
The University’s Charter, later codified in the Minnesota Constitution, created the Board of Regents to be an independent, non-partisan governing body that acts strictly in the best interest of the University of Minnesota. The Board has a long history of performing its role with integrity to uphold this principle, and we will continue to do so.
Although the Board’s Code of Ethics does not anticipate this exact circumstance, it is the Board’s duty to evaluate whether Regent Sviggum’s new employment at the Legislature could present a conflict of interest with his obligations as a Regent. The Board will carefully consider this situation under the terms of its Code of Ethics and determine what steps are necessary to take in the best interest of the Board and the University."