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News Release

Karen Himle named Vice President for University Relations

Contacts: Daniel Wolter, University News Service, (612) 625-8510

MINNEAPOLIS / ST. PAUL (12/06/2006) —University of Minnesota President Robert Bruininks today named Karen Himle as vice president for university relations. She will take over for Linda Thrane, who left in November to head university relations at Rice University in Houston. Himle will begin her position on Jan. 7, 2007, pending approval by the Board of Regents later this week.

Himle most recently served as executive vice president of Children's Hospitals and Clinics and president of the hospital's foundation. Children's is the eighth largest provider of pediatric healthcare in the U.S. Prior to that, she served 17 years with the St. Paul Companies, working her way up to senior vice president of corporate and government affairs, where she led the company's public and government relations activities.

"The University of Minnesota has made great strides in explaining how we are driven to discover and how our unique mission benefits Minnesota and the world," Bruininks said. "Karen Himle has an outstanding range of experience that will help us continue to tell our story and to communicate the importance of the university's work to become one of the top three public research universities in the world."

"This is a historic, transformational time for the university," Himle said. "President Bruininks and his team have set some lofty goals for this institution and I'm humbled by the opportunity to help achieve them."

Himle also served as host of TPT's "Almanac Midweek" from 1990-94 and as a guest host on "Almanac." She moderated televised gubernatorial debates in 1990 and 94. Before coming to Minnesota in 1982, Himle served as an advisory and policy specialist on environmental and agricultural issues to Nebraska Gov. Charles Thone.

Himle received her bachelor’s degree in Business Administration from the University of Nebraska in 1976 and her law degree from the University of Nebraska College of Law in 1980.

Her record of community leadership includes serving as the first woman president of the Minneapolis Club, a member of the state Commission on Judicial Selection and a variety of boards, including the St. Paul Area Chamber of Commerce, the Minnesota Chamber of Commerce, the Minnesota Orchestral Association, the Minnesota Opera, the Humphrey Institute of Public Affairs and the Citizens League.

The vice president for University Relations is responsible for fostering strong, positive relationships between the university and its many diverse constituencies; increasing understanding of the university's many contributions to the state; and developing active support for the university among its broad base of stakeholders.

Himle met with university officials, faculty and staff earlier this week. "The university community was impressed with her style and skills and we're very much looking forward to having her as a part of the university's executive team and a key ambassador to Minnesota's communities," Bruininks said.

Tags: All administrative: President, Provost, etc.

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