Jeff Ettinger named interim president of University of Minnesota

The University of Minnesota Board of Regents chose an interim president Monday. Jeff Ettinger will lead the university while the board conducts a national search for President Joan Gabel’s replacement.

Ettinger is the chair of Hormel Foundation Board of Directors. He used to be the CEO of Hormel Foods Corporation. He also ran for Congress in Minnesota’s 1st district in 2022 but lost.

The Board of Regents had named four finalists for the interim president position and interviewed them Monday.

“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,” Board Chair Janie Mayeron said in a press release.

Ettinger said he “cannot wait” to get started.

“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,” he said.

He’ll hold the position for up to one year during the presidential search process.