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Minn. Regent Resigns as Vice Chair After Divisive Remark | Inside Higher Ed

University of Minnesota regent Steve Sviggum has resigned as vice chair of the Board of Regents, Fox News reported, though he will remain on the board until his term ends next year.

Sviggum came under fire last week after questioning whether enrollment was declining at the Morris campus because it was “too diverse.”

“I have received a couple of letters, two actually, from friends whose children are not going to go to Morris because it is too diverse of a campus,” he said at a board meeting earlier this month. “They just didn’t feel comfortable there. Is it at all possible, in the specifics of Morris, that we’ve become too diverse for a student to attend?”

Sviggum later apologized for the comment, but he was roundly criticized by students, faculty and administrators. Janet Schrunk Ericksen, interim chancellor of the University of Minnesota at Morris, said that minority students would likely “be shocked that anyone would think our campus was too diverse.”

In his resignation letter, Sviggum attributed his decision to resign from the vice chairmanship “to my colleagues who have shown disapproval in my actions. I do so humbly and thoughtfully, with knowledge that the success of the University of Minnesota is the most important focus and is much more important than any one person or position.”

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