MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — A University of Minnesota regent has given up his position on the board after its members forced Steve Sviggum to choose between his regent post or his job with the Senate Republican Caucus.

Conflict-of-interest questions have dogged Sviggum since he took the GOP job as communications director in January. The board voted unanimously to force Sviggum to make a choice. A three-member regents’ panel concluded last week that Sviggum had a conflict holding both positions. Sviggum disagreed and told the committee he didn’t intend to resign.

But today, Sviggum passed out a resignation letter after board chairwoman Linda Cohen asked him to step down.

“Madam chair, if you ask for my resignation, you will have it,” Sviggum said.

Audio Clip: Steve Sviggum Steps Down

Sviggum’s letter said he respected the view of the regents, even if he didn’t agree with them. He went onto to say that he felt some board members were treating him unfairly, and were even rude or hurtful.

Sviggum broke down, as he thanked board member Dean Johnson for his support.

“We’ve had our differences years ago, but I’ve come to love you,” Sviggum said.

Sviggum concluded, saying his reputation means a lot to him, and rather than fight this, he would for the second time, walk away from something he loved.

Comments (15)
  1. Homer says:

    “forced Steve Sviggum to choose between his regent post or his job with the Senate Republican Caucus”
    Calling either position a job is an insult to working people.

    1. Shamus says:

      You can lay that same logic on most of the liberal democrats that are professors, staff and admin at the u of m (a.k.a. golden ivory towers!)

      What the need to do is focus on educating MN kids interested in bettering themselves. Teach them things they will actually use in a job or career. Not just Rote memorization BS.

      1. Dan says:

        Apparently you did not go to college, judging from your typos and complete lack of understanding about what is taught at the U. Once you have experienced a college education, feel free to critique it. Until then, hold off.

  2. Kevin says:

    Yes!! An evil republican plot foiled!

  3. The Detective says:

    Now let’s look at those other conflicts the other regents have.

    1. Swamp Rat says:

      Right On! Detective….Let’s see what else is being hidden in the Regents cookie jar!

  4. trebor says:

    Let’s see 0 pay or 100,00 for doing nothing. What a choice.

  5. trebor says:

    oops missed a 0

  6. U Graduate says:

    This is downright shameful. How childish is it that a Board of Regents can bully a soft spoken, hard working public servant into resigning? I dislike politics on either side of the aisle, but this is just crazy that they would push around a guy that we all know works very hard because he believes in the U and wants to help make it better. The Board of Regents’ Policy states: “Subd. 6. Employment-Related Conflict of Interest. An employment-related conflict of interest exists whenever a Regent’s employment relationships may impair independence of judgment.” Show me how there is objective evidence that Regent Sviggum will be impaired in his judgement.

    1. Jack Anderson says:

      Hey U Graduate, we need to face the reality that in all too much of what happens today there are folks with a polictical agenda pushing their cause. All of us are losing big time to the pressure these people are exerting and causing good, honest, worthy people from all corners to say “It’s just not worth it!” I fear, BIG TIME for where we are headed due to this mentality. “I don’t like it so guess I’ll protest and, likely, I’ll get my way. The media will pick up my cause and to heck with if the majority loses. Makes me feel really, really fine!”

      1. Shamus says:

        Hey Jack Anderson, the political cause are the democrats forcing out the only reasonable voice on the board of regents. The board is full of liberal nut-jobs who have bilked the tax payer for a living.

        1. Up Your Nose With A Rubber Hose says:

          Republicans are evil, no they aren’t Democrats are evil…..I think it’s funny that adults argue like this.

  7. angus says:

    Sviggy is constantly calling for less government and then has been in government most of his life. Doesn’t see a conflict there either. It is called “blinders”.

  8. Stanley Peterson says:

    Poor Sviggy should get away from all the nuts in the board of Regents. They just want one mind set, which is secular “dumbocratic” idea’s to teach our programed students. Then of course over pay themselves and all the union teachers . Ufta!

  9. pkc says:

    If you know of Sviggum’s legislative antics, then you won’t be surprised at this. He thinks rules and ethics don’t apply to him.

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