Steven Rosenstone named next MnSCU chancellor

Posted: February 2, 2011

Contact: Doug Anderson,, 651-201-1426

Steven Rosenstone, vice president for scholarly and cultural affairs, and professor of political science at the University of Minnesota, was selected Wednesday as the next chancellor of the Minnesota State Colleges and Universities in a 14-1 vote by the Board of Trustees.

"I am excited that we have found a leader who is uniquely qualified for this position,” said Scott Thiss, chair of the Board of Trustees. “Dr. Rosenstone is a proven leader who brings the vision and breadth of skills and knowledge that we need to lead this system. The Board of Trustees and Chancellor James McCormick look forward to working with chancellor-designate Rosenstone.”

Rosenstone, 59, told the board he could begin Aug. 1. He will succeed James H. McCormick, who is retiring as chancellor of the 32-institution system with an enrollment of more than 434,000 students in credit- and non-credit courses.

"I am honored to be chosen,” Rosenstone said. "I look forward to the tremendous challenges that lie ahead and this opportunity to serve the people of Minnesota by leading the Minnesota State Colleges and Universities."

Rosenstone told the trustees he is eager to visit campuses and find out more about the individual colleges and universities.

“I look forward to meeting and working with the students, faculty and staff. I also plan to connect with business leaders and other members of the public. Minnesotans are rightfully proud of their state colleges and universities, and I will work hard to make an outstanding system even better.”

“I want to extend my congratulations to Dr. Rosenstone,” McCormick said. “I am proud of the students, faculty and staff in this system, who contribute so much to the high quality of life in Minnesota. I will work with Dr. Rosenstone to help ensure a smooth transition.”

David Olson, chair of the Search Advisory Committee and president of the Minnesota Chamber of Commerce, said the caliber of candidates was outstanding. “The Board of Trustees has selected an outstanding future chancellor to carry on the exemplary leadership of Dr. McCormick,” said Olson, a former board chair.

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 systemwide 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 of Minnesota, Rosenstone 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.