New regent didn’t disclose UMN job

Published 1:21 pm Wednesday, March 23, 2011

MINNEAPOLIS — The University of Minnesota Board of Regents has discovered that a new board member failed initially to declare his university job as a lecturer on a financial disclosure form.

The form was released Tuesday during a meeting of a special regents committee charged with determining whether there is a conflict of interest between former state legislator Steve Sviggum serving as a regent and also holding a job at the university’s Humphrey School of Public Affairs.

The regents set the budget for the university, among other things.

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The disclosure form showed Sviggum listed just one source of income, the Sviggum Bros. Farm Partnership, when he filled out the paperwork, the Star Tribune reported Wednesday. He submitted the form Feb. 23, two days after the Legislature elected him to the Board of Regents and 19 days after he signed a contract with the Humphrey School.

Sviggum submitted a revised form on March 8 which listed his $80,000 salary at the university.

He said he has been “very, very transparent about any relationship with the Humphrey School” throughout the process of his election to the board.

In his November application for the board, Sviggum wrote that “full disclosure and transparency is important,” and at that point disclosed that he was an adjunct professor at the Humphrey Institute. He signed a contract Feb. 4 to be a legislative fellow at the university.

The committee could recommend next week whether Sviggum should choose between the two jobs, alter his contract with the Humphrey School or keep both jobs, but with a “conflict of interest management plan.”