MANKATO (TEC News), April 24 – MSU President Richard Davenport released a letter yesterday indicating he has asked for a review by the Office of Legislative Auditors “regarding the system’s and university’s actions in the matter” involving Head Football Coach Todd Hoffner. Hoffner’s attorneys, legislators and others raised concern after his return. Davenport was unable to comment, but said in the letter to the university that “we welcome Todd back to campus and look forward to his leadership of our football program moving forward.”
COPY OF LETTER FROM DAVENPORT TO FACTULY, STAFF AND STUDENTS
Faculty, Staff and Students:
Last week I sent a message to the campus community expressing my full personal support to Mr. Todd Hoffner in his return to Minnesota State University, Mankato as Head Football Coach.
First, I want to reiterate that support and emphasize again that we welcome Todd back to campus and look forward to his leadership of our football program moving forward.
It’s also important for you to know that as a result of public interest in this situation, I have requested through Chancellor Steven Rosenstone that a review of the processes used in this matter be conducted by the State of Minnesota’s Office of Legislative Auditor.
Chancellor Rosenstone informed the MnSCU Board of Trustees of my request at this morning’s board meeting. Chancellor Rosenstone’s remarks to the Board are copied below.
Thank you again for all you do for Minnesota State Mankato.
Chancellor Steven Rosenstone’s remarks to the MnSCU Board of Trustees (April 23, 2014)
“Next, I would like to bring you up to date on last week’s reinstatement of Todd Hoffner as head football coach at Minnesota State University, Mankato.
“In particular, I want you to know:
“Since Mr. Hoffner announced last week that he would be coming back to Mankato, the university has worked hard to facilitate a smooth return. I want to thank President Davenport, the university’s athletic director Kevin Buisman, Coach Hoffner, the coaching staff, and student athletes for their commitment to making this transition successful.
“One of the most challenging and frustrating aspects in these situations is our inability under the Minnesota Government Data Practices Act to comment on or explain the university’s actions to the public. The data practices law limits our ability to even publicly acknowledge that there was an arbitration decision, much less to provide copies of arbitration decisions and underlying records or to discuss their contents. We have scrupulously followed the Act and will continue to abide by its requirements.
“System office personnel represent all of our colleges and universities in labor relations grievances. Personnel decisions are made only after thorough investigation and careful consideration of all the facts and are final only after the full grievance process is completed. Obviously, there are cases where we have a very different understanding of the facts and conclusions than the arbitrator.
“I want to be clear that throughout this series of events, President Davenport and his team have never deviated from doing what they thought the facts dictated would be best for the university, its students and others it serves. There has been absolutely no intentional wrongdoing by decision-makers.
“Because of concerns that have been raised, President Davenport has requested that we seek a review by the Office of Legislative Auditor of the processes involved in actions taken by Minnesota State University, Mankato with respect to this matter. A letter from President Davenport and me making that request was delivered earlier today to Senator Roger Reinert and Representative Michael Beard, the chair and vice chair of the Legislative Audit Commission.
“At this juncture, it is our hope that the Hoffners’ lives can return to normal and that the university can devote its full attention to doing what it does so well – serving students. Again, with the commitment we have from those involved, I have confidence that we will succeed.”