Bruininks emerging as favorite for presidency of U of M
MINNEAPOLIS -- The interim president of the University of Minnesota, Robert Bruininks, is emerging as the favorite of deans and faculty to get the job permanently.
The university is conducting a nationwide search to replace former President Mark Yudof. But Bruininks -- a longtime professor at Minnesota and Yudof's second-in-command -- has strong inside support on campus.
"He's presidential material," said Robert Elde, dean of the College of Biological Sciences and chairman of the Twin Cities campus deans council. "If he could do it here, there would be a lot of support. I find it interesting that there was support for him (to be interim president) among all the deans."
When Bruininks agreed to become interim president two months ago, he said he would not be a candidate for president. His contract, however, does not prohibit it.
As people keep asking him, his answer has evolved: He now says he has no plans to apply for the position but has not ruled it out.
But, he cautioned in an e-mail to the Minnesota Daily, the campus newspaper, "It is critical for me to maintain a sense of independence during this interim time; I don't want my motivations or decisions second-guessed in any way."