Two finalists for chancellor named by MnSCU Board of Trustees

Posted: January 31, 2011

Contact: Doug Anderson,, 651-201-1426

New chancellor to be selected Wednesday

Two finalists for the position of chancellor of the Minnesota State Colleges and Universities were announced Monday by the Board of Trustees. The board will interview the finalists Tuesday and Wednesday.

The finalists are Steven Rosenstone, vice president for scholarly and cultural affairs, and professor of political science at the University of Minnesota; and William Sederburg, commissioner of the Utah System of Higher Education.

Rosenstone has been vice president for scholarly and cultural affairs at the University of Minnesota since 2007. He came to the university in 1996 to serve as dean of the College of Liberal Arts. Under his leadership, the college revamped the undergraduate experience, created state-of-the-art facilities and forged new partnerships with businesses, communities, cultural and civic organizations. Over the years, Rosenstone led numerous university system-wide initiatives including the national conference on Keeping our Faculties of Color and task forces on scholarships, private fundraising, and long-term financial strategy. Rosenstone was awarded the McKnight Presidential Leadership Chair for his service to the university.

Before coming to the university, he was an assistant, associate, and then full professor of political science at Yale University until 1986 when he became a professor of political science at the University of Michigan and program director in the Center for Political Studies. He is the author of four books and numerous scholarly articles on elections, political participation, and the challenges facing higher education. He is a member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences.

Rosenstone received his bachelor’s degree summa cum laude from Washington University and his master’s and doctorate degrees from the University of California, Berkeley. He is a member of the board of directors of the Guthrie Theater.

“I am deeply honored to be a finalist for the position of chancellor of the Minnesota State Colleges and Universities,” Rosenstone said. “I look forward to meeting with members of the Board of Trustees and others to discuss the challenges and opportunities we face at this critical time in our state’s history.”

Sederburg, who serves as chief executive officer of Utah’s Board of Regents, has been in his current position since 2008; his duties included developing a statewide higher education plan at the request of the board. Previously, he served as president of Utah Valley University from 2003 to 2008; during his tenure, the former two-year community college expanded to become a four-year regional university with 30,000 students. He was president of Ferris State University, which offers both two-year and four-year degrees, from 1994 to 2003; vice president for public policy and director at the Public Opinion Research Institute from 1991 to 1994; Michigan state senator from 1978 to 1991; president of Survey Research Co. from 1974 to 1991; and postdoctoral fellow at Michigan State University from 1973 to 1975. In 1990, he helped found the Midwestern Higher Education Compact, became its inaugural chair and located its headquarters in Minneapolis. He holds a bachelor’s degree in education and political science from Minnesota State University, Mankato, and a master’s degree in political science and a doctorate in political science and public administration, both from Michigan State University.

"I am honored to be a finalist for the position of chancellor of the Minnesota State Colleges and Universities system for a number of reasons: Not only is Minnesota my home state, but I also graduated from a system institution. Also, my father was an employee of the Minnesota system," said Sederburg. He added, "While I am excited about higher education in Utah, I look forward to meeting with the Board of Trustees over the coming two days for dialogue about the future."

Scott Thiss, chair of the Board of Trustees, said, “The board is pleased that the selection process went smoothly. The views of the faculty, students and other constituents have been particularly important in this process. We now have two stellar candidates from which to choose.”

The Search Advisory Committee, chaired by David Olson, president of the Minnesota Chamber of Commerce and past chair of the system’s Board of Trustees, included students, faculty, presidents, trustees, state legislators, business leaders and representatives of other constituent groups. The committee considered 46 candidates and interviewed 11. The board selected the two finalists.

The Board of Trustees will meet at 8 a.m. Tuesday and at 9:15 a.m. Wednesday at Minnesota State Colleges and Universities, 30 7th St. E., St. Paul to interview the finalists. Beginning at 1:15 p.m. Wednesday, the board is expected to deliberate and choose a new chancellor. The meetings are open to the public.

The new chancellor will replace James H. McCormick, who is retiring this summer after serving 10 years as chancellor.