Scott R. Olson Appointed President of Winona State University

Posted: May 16, 2012

Contact: Doug Anderson,, 651-201-1426

Connie J. Gores to serve as interim president

ST. PAUL, Minn. - The Minnesota State Colleges and Universities Board of Trustees today appointed Scott R. Olson as president of Winona State University. Olson becomes the 15th president of the university and begins his duties July 16, 2012.

Scott R. Olson

Olson has served as provost and vice president for academic and student affairs at Minnesota State University, Mankato since 2003. In addition, he served as interim vice chancellor for academic and student affairs for the Minnesota State Colleges and Universities in 2010-11. Previously, Olson was dean of the College of Communication, Information and Media at Ball State University in Indiana; and associate and assistant to the dean of Arts and Sciences, director of graduate studies in the Department of Communication, and professor at Central Connecticut State University.

Olson holds a bachelor's degree, a master's degree and a Ph.D., all from Northwestern University in Illinois.

In recommending Olson's appointment, Chancellor Steven Rosenstone said: "Scott Olson is a proven leader, an impressive scholar and someone who deeply values students and their success. He stands out as someone who will build strong alliances with faculty, staff and communities to raise Winona State University to even greater heights of excellence."

Trustee Clarence Hightower, who chairs the board's Human Resources Committee, said: "Winona State University is an outstanding university that makes immeasurable contributions to Winona and Minnesota. Under President Olson's leadership, we can expect the university to continue its record of success in providing high-quality academic programs to students and enhancing its service to the greater Winona community and the state."

"I am humbled and honored by this appointment and look forward to working with the faculty, staff and my Minnesota State Colleges and Universities colleagues in advancing the mission of this great institution," said Olson. "Working together, we will pursue excellence in every facet of the university and enthusiastically serve our communities."

Effective immediately and until Olson begins his duties, Connie J. Gores, vice president for student life and development at Winona State University, will serve as interim president. She has held her current position since 2007. Gores holds a bachelor's degree from North Dakota State University, a master's degree from Colorado State University and a Ph.D. from the University of Washington.

Commenting on Gores' appointment, Chancellor Steven Rosenstone said, "I am confident that Dr. Gores will work effectively with president-elect Olson over the weeks ahead to ensure a smooth transition in leadership."