Tom Renier Elected Chair of the Minnesota State Colleges and Universities Board of Trustees

Posted: June 18, 2014

Contact: Doug Anderson,, 651-201-1426

Anderson Kelliher elected vice chair as six trustees reach the end of their term of service

ST. PAUL, Minn., June 18, 2014 – With Chair Clarence Hightower reaching the end of his term of service, the Minnesota State Colleges and Universities Board of Trustees elected Tom Renier to serve as the new chair. Margaret Anderson Kelliher was elected to serve as vice chair.

“We deeply appreciate Chair Hightower’s twelve years of service to Minnesota State Colleges and Universities and the state of Minnesota,” said Chancellor Steven Rosenstone. “Clarence Hightower has worked tirelessly to ensure that our colleges and universities continue to be places of hope and opportunity for all Minnesotans. As Trustees Renier and Anderson Kelliher begin their new roles on our Board of Trustees, I look forward to working with them and with the entire Board to help the people of our state create a better future for themselves, for their families, and for their communities.”

Renier has served on the MnSCU Board of Trustees since 2004. He was reappointed to a second six-year term in 2010. He is president of the Northland Foundation, a regional foundation serving the communities of northeastern Minnesota that provides grants to nonprofit organizations, loans to for-profit businesses, and a variety of programs that serve children, youth, and families. He also serves on the Board of Directors for Essentia Health East, Alworth Memorial Scholarship Foundation, and the Labovitz School of Business and Economics at the University of Minnesota Duluth.


Anderson Kelliher has served on the MnSCU Board of Trustees since 2012. She is the president and CEO of the Minnesota High Tech Association and serves on the boards of directors for the Greater Twin Cities United Way, the YWCA of Minneapolis, and the Textile Center. She served as a state representative from 1999 to 2011 and as speaker of the House from 2007 to 2011. In 2011, she was appointed by Gov. Mark Dayton to be the chair of the Governor's Broadband Task Force.

Anderson Kelliher

In addition to Hightower, the appointments of five other trustees are also scheduled to end on June 30, 2014: Cheryl Dickson, Alfredo Oliveira, David Paskach, Maria Peluso, and Louise Sundin. All were presented with certificates of recognition signed by Governor Mark Dayton which read, “The generous dedication of your time and talents has had a tremendous impact and has helped Minnesota State Colleges and Universities fulfill an essential role in growing Minnesota’s economy and opening the doors of educational opportunity to all Minnesotans.”

The trustees may continue to serve until the new trustees are appointed by Governor Dayton. He is expected to name replacements in the coming weeks.

The Minnesota State Colleges and Universities include 24 two-year community, technical, and comprehensive colleges and seven state universities serving more than 430,000 students. It is the fifth-largest higher education system of its kind in the United States.