Trustees appoint search committee to help find next chancellor

Posted: July 21, 2010

Contact: Doug Anderson,, 651-201-1426

The Minnesota State Colleges and Universities Board of Trustees appointed a search advisory committee as it begins the process of replacing Chancellor James H. McCormick, who plans to retire next year.

The Search Advisory Committee includes 16 representatives from the community at large, business, students, legislators, trustees, state college and university presidents, and the system’s bargaining units. The board also began discussing the charge for the committee and the characteristics it wants in the next chancellor. Scott Thiss, the board’s chair, said, “The Board of Trustees expects a new chancellor to build upon the Minnesota State Colleges and Universities foundation of achievement while articulating a clear and compelling vision for its future.”

David Olson, a former trustee and immediate past board chair of the Minnesota State Colleges and Universities, was appointed earlier to lead the search committee. “I am honored to lead this search,” Olson said. “This is an important responsibility, and I appreciate the board’s confidence in me.”

The committee members are:

Travis Johnson, president of the Minnesota State College Student Association;

Andrew Spaeth, state chair of the Minnesota State University Student Association;

Don Larsson, president of the Inter Faculty Organization, which represents faculty at the system’s seven state universities;

Greg Mulcahy, president of the Minnesota State College Faculty, which represents faculty at the system’s 25 community and technical colleges;

Shahzad Ahmad, past president of the Minnesota State University Association of Administrative and Service Faculty, which represents administrative and service faculty;

Clarence Hightower, trustee and vice chair of the board and chair of the board’s Human Resources Committee;

Christine Rice, trustee and chair of the board’s Academic and Student Affairs Committee;

Kevin Kopischke, president of Alexandria Technical and Community College;

Edna Mora Szymanski, president of Minnesota State University Moorhead;

Carlos Mariani, DFL-St. Paul, state representative and chair of the House K-12 Education Policy and Oversight Committee;

Claire Robling, R-Jordan, state senator and ranking minority member of the Senate Higher Education Committee;

Sharon Sayles Belton, vice president, community relations and government affairs for Thomson Reuters and former mayor of Minneapolis;

Yvonne Cheung Ho, president and CEO of the Metropolitan Economic Development Association;

Mark Chronister, board chair, St. Catherine University and board chair of the Minneapolis
Foundation; and

Paula Prahl, senior vice president of communications, public affairs and corporate responsibility, Best Buy Co., Inc.

McCormick, who has been chancellor since 2001, is the third chancellor since the system was created in 1995.