Interview with Villis Vikmanis

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Interview with Villis Vikmanis

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University of Minnesota


Oral History


Villis Vikmanis begins his interview with an overview of his education and career. He then reviews in more detail his work for the State, including all of the following: his work in the Budget Division and with Richard Fitzsimons; family practitioners in Minnesota; state funding for the Mayo Medical School; the Legislature's provision of funds for building in the Health Sciences at the University; the power of rural legislators in the State; the need for rural primary care physicians; and his work as coordinator of Executive Affairs in Governor Albert Quie's office. Mr. Vikmanis then discusses all of the following topics in relation to his work at the University: consulting on the University's Cost Containment Taskforce; cost concerns for the Hospital; his work on the Board of Governors for the Hospital from 1984 to 1998; relations between University Hospital and affiliated hospitals; his responsibility for space allocation; lobbying the Legislature; Neal Vanselow's tenure as vice president of the AHC; the leadership of Cherie Perlmutter, Robert Anderson, and William Brody; problems with the ALG program; and the decision to sell the hospital to Fairview. He concludes by reviewing additional key figures in the history of the AHC.


Villis Vikmanis was born in Riga, Latvia on December 3, 1938. As a result of their proximity to World War II hostilities, his family was assigned to a displaced person (D.P.) camp in Hainau, Germany from 1945 to 1950. In 1950, his family immigrated to the United States and moved to St. Paul, Minnesota, where the family's sponsors resided. He earned his bachelor's degree in political science at the University of Minnesota in 1961. Vikmanis then began graduate work at the University's Public Administration Program, but as the result of an internship, began work at Minnesota's State Department of Civil Service in 1963. He then joined the Budget Division, Department of Administration in 1966 as a senior budget representative. In 1969, he joined the staff of Richard Fitzsimons, chairman of the House Appropriations Committee, as a fiscal analyst. Vikmanis then became coordinator of Executive Affairs for Governor Albert Quie's office in the fall of 1980. In 1983, Mr. Vikmanis became a full-time consultant to University Hospitals' cost containment task force. In November of that same year, he served as assistant to the vice president in Central Administration at the University. He was then appointed assistant vice president for the health sciences in September of 1984. He also served on the Hospital Board of Governors. He held these two positions until he retired in 1998.

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Tobbell, Dominique A.; Vikmanis, Villis. (2013). Interview with Villis Vikmanis. Retrieved from the University Digital Conservancy,

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