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The Journey from Longhorns to Walleye...and Back
Mark G. Yudof C'65, L'68
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MARK G. YUDOF C’65, L’68 is known for his love of food, especially pancakes – when he travels he samples the local variation on the breakfast staple. He jokes that he chose his clerkship because the restaurants in New Orleans were so good. He’s also known for his love for and dedication to higher education. The latter has been a mutual love affair over the last three decades. When the Board of Regents of the University of Texas announced in May that Yudof was their final candidate for the position of Chancellor it was reported that he was being courted with gifts and flattery by state legislators, alumni, staff, and students to remain at Minnesota. It was not an easy decision to leave.

At Minnesota Yudof set the bar for achievement high. He arrived on campus, a land grant university, at a time of declining federal and state financial support for universities. This inevitably led to a rise in tuition costs. Although the University of Minnesota has campuses in the Twin Cities of Minneapolis/St. Paul, Duluth, Morris and Crookston he traveled throughout Minnesota to build a coalition of colleges and universities to lobby the Governor (Jesse Ventura) to continue, and raise, funding for higher education.

In the five years he was there his accomplishments included a refurbished Twin Cities campus, the kick-off of a $1.3 billion fundraising campaign, and a streamlined system to deliver administrative services more efficiently to students. He pushed to expand programs in digital technology, biology, agriculture, architecture and journalism.

As Yudof has moved up the ladder in higher education he has kept a hand in what he believes to be the foundation of education: teaching. As President of Minnesota he taught freshman seminars on “Race Equality and the Public Schools,” and “Students and the Constitution.” While he was provost of the University of Texas-Austin he taught the freshman seminar “The Constitution on Campus.” He expects that he will continue to teach at the University of Texas despite the demands on him as Chancellor. 

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