U of M President Eric Kaler names Pamela Wheelock as new vice president for University Services
June 14, 2012
University of Minnesota president Eric Kaler today announced that Pamela Wheelock will be the university’s new vice president for University Services, subject to approval by the Board of Regents.
Wheelock, who will assume her new role on Aug. 15, brings more than 25 years of leadership experience and accomplishments in the private, public and nonprofit sectors— spanning the city, state and federal levels of government, including economic development, the Governor’s cabinet and the state finance commission.
“Pam is a visionary, strategic and inclusive leader who is committed to high standards of excellence, integrity, accountability and stewardship,” Kaler said. “Her experience and skills will be invaluable to building effective partnerships with academic leaders to ensure our services and facilities support excellence at Minnesota's only public research university.”
The vice president for University Services is the chief operations officer for the university and is a key member of the president’s senior leadership team. Current vice president Kathleen O’Brien announced her retirement in February after 10 years at the helm. She will step down on June 30. During the six-week period before Wheelock begins her post, Vice President and Chief Financial Officer Richard Pfutzenreuter will serve as the interim vice president for University Services.
As deputy mayor under former St. Paul Mayor Norm Coleman from 1994 to 1996, Wheelock led negotiations on the lease that secured the return of NHL hockey to Minnesota and the construction of the Xcel Energy Center. Beginning in 2002, she went on to spend seven years in senior leadership roles for Minnesota Sports and Entertainment, the parent company of the Minnesota Wild which also operates the Xcel Energy Center. While there she held the positions of senior vice president and executive vice president and chief financial officer.
Most recently, Wheelock served as interim president and chief executive officer of Blue Cross Blue Shield of Minnesota, where she also serves as board chair. From 2009 to 2011, she worked for the Bush Foundation as vice president for leadership and community engagement.
“I’m stepping into a very strong organization, and that’s what attracted me to the University of Minnesota,” said Wheelock. “I’m excited to be part of President Kaler’s commitment to meeting the needs of the academic mission. When facilities are operating more efficiently, when labs and the campus are safe and the streets are shoveled, it enables everyone at the U to focus on research, education and outreach.”
In addition to serving as deputy mayor for the City of St. Paul, Wheelock was director of planning and economic development from 1996 to 1999, and budget director from 1992 to 1994. She also spent four years as the state finance commissioner for Governor Jesse Ventura, six years as the state executive budget officer and was a legislative assistant to Congressman Tim Penny when he represented Minnesota’s 1st District.
A native of Waseca, Minn., Wheelock received her bachelor of arts degree in history from St. Catherine University, then known as the College of St. Catherine. She went on to earn her master’s degree in applied economics from Marquette University.
Former chair of the College of St. Catherine Board of Trustees, Wheelock has also served as chair of the Minnesota Wild Foundation and has been a member of the Dean’s Advisory Council for the university’s Hubert H. Humphrey School of Public Affairs since 2004.
With more than 3,000 employees in six major functions, University Services is critical not only to the day-to-day operation of all University of Minnesota campuses but also to the long-term success of the institution. The six units help ensure the infrastructure and services are in place to support and advance the teaching, research and outreach mission of the university. The units include, but are not limited to, capital planning and project management, facilities management, the Department of Public Safety, university health and safety and auxiliary services, which encompass housing and residential life, parking and transportation, and university dining services, among other areas.