Ronald Wood appointed interim president of Southwest Minnesota State University

Posted: April 20, 2011

Contact: Doug Anderson,, 651-201-1426

Ronald Wood was appointed interim president of Southwest Minnesota State University in Marshall Wednesday by the Minnesota State Colleges and Universities Board of Trustees. He is one of two presidents and two interim presidents appointed Wednesday.

Wood, 64, 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 is a proven leader who is the best person I know to lead Southwest Minnesota State University through this transition time,” McCormick said. “I am confident that this university can continue to thrive and meet the higher education needs for baccalaureate education in this part of the state.”

Clarence Hightower, chair of the Board of Trustees’ Human Resources Committee, said, “I am reassured that Ron Wood will provide able leadership for the next year at Southwest Minnesota State University. This will give us the time we need to make sure we know how to make the best use of our resources as we continue in these challenging economic times.”

“Southwest Minnesota is a region with great economic opportunity at this point in history,” Wood said. “Higher education will be the key to insuring we move forward. Southwest Minnesota State University is a cornerstone for this success. I look forward to working with the chancellor and the Southwest Minnesota State University family during the next year to insure a successful pathway.”

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 appointment takes effect July 1. A search for a new president will begin later this year.