Ronald Wood recommended as interim president of Southwest Minnesota State University

Posted: April 15, 2011

Contact: Doug Anderson,, 651-201-1426

Minnesota State Colleges and Universities Chancellor James H. McCormick said Friday he will recommend that Ronald Wood be appointed interim president of Southwest Minnesota State University in Marshall.

Wood, who retired as president of Minnesota West Community and Technical College in 2008, has been serving as an alderman for the city of Worthington since 2008.

“Ron Wood already has invested sound planning, time and energy to assure the delivery of high-quality higher education opportunities in southwest Minnesota,” McCormick said. “With this interim appointment, he will help us set the stage for meeting the state's 21st century postsecondary education needs in this area.”

An interim president is being appointed because a study is underway to identify the key higher education programs and services needed by the region now and in the future.

The study also will explore administrative and organizational structures, including the current institutional configuration, and other approaches that could include consolidation, administrative alignment or other programmatic and financial opportunities to enhance or sustain programs and services in the region.

The study was prompted by the announcement of Southwest Minnesota State University President David Danahar to retire June 30; the changing demographics, economics and other market conditions in the region; and the need for improved alignment between Minnesota West Community and Technical College and Southwest Minnesota State University. Results of the study are expected to be announced in the spring or summer of 2011.

Wood served as president of Minnesota West for 10 years. Previously, he was the chief academic officer at Laramie County Community College in Wyoming and held various positions at Frederick Community College in Maryland, including special assistant to the dean of instruction, professor of economics, associate dean in the science and technology division, acting dean of instruction and division chairperson in the math, physical and social sciences. He also was a mathematical statistician at the U.S. Department of Agriculture. He holds a bachelor’s degree in mathematics and economics from Western Maryland College, a master’s degree in economics from Washington University in St. Louis and a Ph.D. in consumer economics from the University of Maryland.

The Board of Trustees is expected to act on the chancellor’s recommendation for the one-year appointment at its April 20 meeting.