Steven Rosenstone becomes MnSCU chancellor

Posted: August 1, 2011

Contact: Doug Anderson,, 651-201-1426

Steven Rosenstone begins service today as the fourth chancellor of the Minnesota State Colleges and Universities.

“I am energized and ready to get to work for the people of Minnesota,” Rosenstone said. “Students, families, businesses and communities across our state are counting on the Minnesota State Colleges and Universities – more than ever – to meet Minnesota’s pressing need for a better-educated workforce.

“With 70 percent of the jobs in Minnesota requiring postsecondary education by 2018, we must dramatically increase the number of students who earn degrees, certificates and diplomas. We also must continue to improve the quality of our programs even in the wake of fewer state dollars,” he said.

Scott Thiss, chair of the Board of Trustees, said: “We have found a proven leader with fresh ideas and a compelling vision. Chancellor Rosenstone’s breadth of skills and deep knowledge of the challenges we face make him uniquely qualified to lead Minnesota’s largest system of higher education.

Since being appointed chancellor in February by the Board of Trustees, Rosenstone has logged more than 4,000 miles visiting 24 colleges and universities and meeting with more than 1,000 faculty, staff and community leaders across the state.

“I am inspired by the remarkable faculty and staff at our colleges and universities and by their commitment to serving students and their communities,” he said. “I want each of the 31 state colleges and universities to be known for producing graduates who not only are prepared for work, but who are stunningly creative, innovative, resourceful and able to apply knowledge to unforeseen problems. Graduates must be prepared to expect the unexpected, embrace change, be comfortable with ambiguity, have a deep appreciation for diverse cultures and communicate effectively by 21st-century standards.

Rosenstone is committed to the Minnesota State Colleges and Universities serving all Minnesotans. “We need to continue to be the place of hope and opportunity for all students seeking a college or technical education as well as for workers who need to update their skills or prepare for new careers,” he said.

“My conversations over the past five months have generated scores of ideas about ways to improve every facet of what we do from how we teach and advise students to how we manage our scarce resources.” In an email he is sending his first day on the job to all faculty and staff at every college and university, Rosenstone is asking people to share with him their most creative idea for seizing the opportunities that lie ahead. He plans to report the most powerful suggestions to the Board of Trustees in September.

Rosenstone holds a bachelor’s degree summa cum laude from Washington University in St. Louis, and a master’s degree and Ph.D. from the University of California, Berkeley. He was professor of political science at Yale University until 1986 when he joined the University of Michigan to serve as professor of political science and program director at the Center for Political Studies.

Recruited to the University of Minnesota in 1996 to serve as dean of the College of Liberal Arts, Rosenstone revamped the undergraduate experience, created state-of-the-art facilities and forged new partnerships with businesses, communities, cultural and civic organizations. He served as the university’s vice president for scholarly and cultural affairs from 2007 until leaving that post last week.

Rosenstone is the author of four books and numerous scholarly articles on elections, political participation and higher education. He is a member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and the board of directors of the Guthrie Theater.

He and his wife, Maria Antonia Calvo, have three children.

Rosenstone succeeds James H. McCormick, who retired. Two others, Judith Eaton and Morrie Anderson, served as chancellors of the system since it began operations in 1995.