I met up with Jon at the Ken Lanning Golf Center in Jefferson City, the day after Governor Jay Nixon made his announcement that Sundvold had accepted one of the three open positions on the University of Missouri’s Board of Curators .
Sundvold is someone who is tied to the Columbia campus in many ways. He was a star basketball player under Norm Stewart. His family, including his wife and sons, has attended the school. He provides color commentary on television broadcasts during the basketball season.
Nixon appointed three new curators to fill the gap from six to nine. Sundvold and the others do not need Senate approval, but are guaranteed no more than six months. When a new governor is sworn into office, that could all change, but Sundvold is “0% nervous.” He understands what his role will be from now until January. He told me the number one priority for the next six months is to find a president that has a clear vision for the future.
Not only is Sundvold coming in with no pressure, but also 0% of a political agenda. If January rolls around and the new governor goes in a different direction, Sundvold will go back to running his own business, continue as Director for the Junior Golf Foundation and continue broadcasting basketball games. He’s at peace with whatever the future brings.
Sundvold has had a bird’s eye view of the happenings on the Columbia campus, not just as an alum, but from the perspective of his children who lived on the campus. As I mention to him, his hands are clean. He sat back and observed and held judgment to himself, until now.
Sundvold’s greatest asset may be the fact that he brings with him nine years of experience in the NBA, where people work together as a team. As you listen, you’ll understand what he learned in his time as a pro basketball player will serve him well as a curator.