President Emerita Coleman appointed to Mayo Clinic board

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By Sam Gringlas, Daily News Editor
Published November 17, 2014

Former University President Mary Sue Coleman has been appointed to a seat on the Mayo Clinic’s Board of Trustees. According to a release published on the clinic’s website, Coleman attended her first quarterly meeting of the board Friday.

A biochemist by training, Coleman holds a doctorate in biochemistry and professor emeritus appointments in the University’s Medical School and LSA. She retired as president earlier this year after leading the University for 12 years. Her successor, University President Mark Schlissel, is a noted immunologist who also holds appointments in the Medical School and LSA.

Coleman also currently serves on the boards of pharmaceutical company Johnson and Johnson and the Meredith Corporation, an Iowa-based media conglomerate — positions she held during her presidency. In 2009, Johnson and Johnson paid Coleman $229,978 in cash and stock and the Meredith Corporation’s compensation totaled $137,167, according to a 2010 New York Times report.

According to Mayo Clinic spokesperson Karl W. Oestreich, Mayo Clinic public trustees are not compensated for their service, but do receive reimbursement for expenses incurred while traveling to and from quarterly board meetings. Trustees also receive supplementary medical insurance for treatment at Mayo Clinic facilities that is not covered by primary insurance policies.

The non-profit Mayo Clinic’s governing body is a 31-member board composed of both clinical physicians and administrators and public representatives. The trustees are charged with overseeing research, medical education and patient care at the organization’s sites in Florida, Arizona and Minnesota.

Public trustees are selected by a governance and nominating committee within the Board of Trustees.

“Trustees are invited based upon their experience, expertise, and other priority characteristics identified from time to time by the Governance & Nominating Committee,” Oestreich wrote in a statement.

Previous Mayo Clinic trustees include former First Lady Barbara Bush, former Vice President Dick Cheney and presidential candidate Walter Mondale. Journalist Tom Brokaw currently serves on the board.

This year, U.S. News and World Report ranked the Mayo Clinic the best hospital in the country. In 2012, the Mayo Clinic employed more than 61,000 people, saw 1.165 million patients and presided over $634 million in research funding.

This article has been updated to include details regarding Coleman's compensation and the board's selection process.