Former Hormel CEO Jeff Ettinger selected as U of M interim president

Jeff Ettinger to be interim U of M president

Jeff Ettinger to be interim U of M president

The University of Minnesota Board of Regents has chosen corporate executive Jeff Ettinger as the university’s interim president.

He will succeed outgoing President Joan Gabel, who is set to leave to become the chancellor of the University of Pittsburgh at the end of June.

“Our Board was impressed by the number and quality of candidates who expressed interest in the interim president position, Board Chair Janie Mayeron said in a statement. “Jeff emerged from that impressive group and we believe the experience and skills that stood out will make for an effective interim leader of our University.”

Ettinger, the current chair of the Hormel Foundation Board of Directors, previously served as the CEO of Hormel Foods Corp. from 2005-16. Before that, he worked for the company as a corporate attorney, treasurer and president of Jennie-O Turkey Store.

Last year, he was the Democratic candidate in Minnesota’s 1st Congressional District race.

“My family and I have a multi-generational connection to the University of Minnesota and it’s the honor of my lifetime to be chosen for this position and build on that legacy,” Ettinger said in a statement. “I want to express my gratitude to the Board of Regents for their confidence in me and my ability to lead this amazing research university during this critical time in its history. I cannot wait to get started and to contribute everything I can in the months ahead to advancing the University of Minnesota, its mission and its service to its students and the state.”

The Board of Regents selected Ettinger from a field of four finalists narrowed down from 21 total applicants.

The three other finalists were Myron Fras, the U of M’s senior vice president for Finance and Operations; Mary Holz-Clause, chancellor of the University of Minnesota Crookston; and E. Thomas Sullivan, president emeritus and professor of Law and Political Science at The University of Vermont and former provost and senior vice president at the University of Minnesota.

Ettinger’s term as interim president will last up to one year while the Board of Regents searches for a full-time president.