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Dorsey & Whitney chairman Thomas Moe has long been a big man at his law firm. Now he’s off to become a big man on campus. Early last month, the 61-year-old Moe announced plans to take a seven-month leave from the Minneapolis-based Dorsey to become athletic director at the University of Minnesota. The school, rocked by an academic cheating scandal, could use another lawyer on board. It faces severe NCAA sanctions, in light of revelations that, among other things, basketball staffers pressured professors to change player grades. Moe, who starred on the school’s football and baseball teams in the late 1950s, says the seven-month timetable should give him time to oversee the hiring of a new athletic director and to put new controls in place to prevent academic cheating. “I don’t look at this as a situation where I’m just putting in my time,”says Moe, who was tapped for the post by university president Mark Yudof, an attorney and former law school dean at the University of Texas. “If that was it, I wouldn’t take this job.” Moe, a longtime Golden Gopher booster, plans to return to the chairman’s spot at Dorsey once the gig is up, but for now he wants to give his alma mater a hand.

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