MnSCU Chancellor James McCormick wins 2010 Pacesetter Award

Posted: September 27, 2010

Contact: Doug Anderson,, 651-201-1426

The National Council for Marketing and Public Relations District 5 has presented the 2010 Pacesetter of the Year Award to Minnesota State Colleges and Universities Chancellor James McCormick.

McCormick received the award Sunday during the District 5 conference in Kansas City, Mo. The annual award recognizes a chief executive officer at a two-year college for exceptional leadership and support of college communications and marketing.

When he became chancellor of Minnesota State Colleges and Universities in July 2001, McCormick noted that he had no prior experience leading two-year colleges. Today, McCormick leads a system made up of seven state universities and 25 two-year community and technical colleges that is the fifth-largest such system in the nation.

McCormick, who told conference participants he quickly learned to respect and appreciate the importance of two-year colleges, was nominated as a strong advocate for the system. He has taken an active interest in communications and marketing, both at the system and campus level. Under his leadership, enrollment has grown consistently over the past decade, with growth in the two-year colleges outpacing growth in the system as a whole. Growth in online education, diversity among the student body and staff, services for veterans, and initiatives to help students enroll and transfer efficiently were cited among his achievements.

“What’s most important to me is that two-year colleges have an open door for the many millions who otherwise might be unable to complete a post-secondary program,” McCormick said. “They also contribute mightily to having a well-educated workforce. In other words, two-year colleges are critical for bettering the lives of our students and for the future economic stability of our country.“

McCormick also told the participants they each play an important role in the face of rising tuition and shrinking public resources. “You must persuade students that we offer affordable and high-quality programs worth the investment of their hard-earned dollars,” he said. “And you must make sure business and industry leaders understand the vital role that two-year colleges play in preparing your state’s workforce for the global marketplace.”

The District 5 region includes Iowa, Kansas, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, North Dakota, South Dakota, the Canadian province of Manitoba, Puerto Rico and Virgin Islands.

The Pacesetter of the Year Award is presented in each of the National Council for Marketing and Public Relations’ seven districts, and district winners are eligible for the national award to be presented at the council’s national conference in March 2011.