Minnesota State Board Names Reimagining Minnesota State Advisors and Forum Schedule

Posted: November 26, 2018

Contact: Doug Anderson, doug.anderson@MinnState.edu, 651-201-1426

Minnesota State Board Names Reimagining Minnesota State Advisors and Forum Schedule
Forum series to facilitate strategic innovation

ST. PAUL, Minn., Nov. 26, 2018 – The Board of Trustees of the Minnesota State Colleges and Universities has announced its Forum Advisory Group and its schedule for Phase 1 of Reimagining Minnesota StateReimagining Minnesota State is a strategic visioning process designed to rethink system operations and to position Minnesota State as an interdependent network of colleges and universities that is focused on the success of all students and communities in Minnesota. 

“Since Minnesota State was created 20 years ago, our campuses and programs have grown and changed to meet the local and regional needs of our students and communities,” said Michael Vekich, chair of the Board of Trustees of Minnesota State Colleges and Universities. “At this important milestone, we are pausing to reflect on the purpose of Minnesota State as a system of public higher education and how it should best serve Minnesota and its people now and in the future through strategic innovation.” 

Reimagining Minnesota State is being informed by a Forum Advisory Group consisting of Minnesota leaders known for their success in driving strategic innovation. “We are very grateful to have developed such a diverse and accomplished group of advisors to help guide this work,” said Vekich. The members of the Forum Advisory Group are: 

Photo of Kathleen Annette

Kathleen Annette, M.D.
, a lifelong resident of rural Minnesota, has served as Blandin Foundation president and CEO since 2011. In her travels throughout the state, Kathy is witness to the power of local, rural and inclusive leadership on issues most important to communities. Prior to joining Blandin Foundation, she worked for 26 years with the nation’s Indian Health Service at many levels. As acting Deputy Director of Field Operations, her last federal assignment, she led the healthcare field operation overseeing 15,000 federal employees at 48 hospitals and 238 health clinics serving 1.9 million American Indian patients. During this time, she received two Presidential Meritorious Awards and a Presidential Distinguished Service Award. Dr. Annette holds a M.D. from the University of Minnesota and is her tribe’s first Ojibwe woman to become a physician. 


Photo of MayKao Hang

MayKao Hang
is president and CEO of the Amherst H. Wilder Foundation in Saint Paul. She has extensive experience in the public and nonprofit sectors serving low income and disadvantaged populations, and is committed to courageous action to promote and create an equitable society where everyone can prosper. Dr. Hang is a trustee with the Saint Paul and Minnesota Community Foundations, a board member of the Minnesota Historical Society, a founding member of the Coalition of Asian American Leaders (CAAL) in Minnesota, and former board chair of the Minneapolis Federal Reserve Bank. She holds a bachelor’s degree from Brown University, a master’s degree from the Hubert H. Humphrey School of Public Affairs, and a doctorate from Hamline University.  


Photo of Kenneth Holmen

Kenneth Holmen, M.D.
has served as the president and chief executive officer of CentraCare Health since January 1, 2015. He is responsible for providing leadership and strategic direction of CentraCare Health and its 12,000 employees for the establishment, maintenance, and enhancement of quality health services in accordance with the mission, philosophy, and values of the organization. CentraCare Health includes six hospitals, seven long term care facilities, and 18 clinics in 11 communities in Central Minnesota, and a Family Practice Residency Program affiliated with the University of Minnesota. Dr. Holmen holds a M.D. from the University of Minnesota Medical School and is a board certified anesthesiologist. 


Photo of Neel Kashkari

Neel Kashkari
is the president and chief executive officer of the Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis where he serves as a monetary policymaker and oversees all of the Bank’s operations. He was instrumental in establishing the Minneapolis Fed’s Opportunity & Inclusive Growth Institute, whose mission is to improve the economic well-being of all Americans. In previous roles, Kashkari served at the U.S. Department of the Treasury, including overseeing the Troubled Asset Relief Program (TARP) during the financial crisis, and earlier in his career as an aerospace engineer, he developed technology for NASA missions. He holds a bachelor’s and a master’s degree from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and an MBA from the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania. 


Photo of David Mortenson

David Mortenson
is chairman of M. A. Mortenson Company, a privately-held international design and construction company headquartered in Minneapolis. He leads a business that specializes in everything from renewable energy to sports stadiums and hospitals to data centers. David joined the family business in 1991 after serving as the Combat Information Center Officer on board the USS Hewitt. He is a graduate of Colgate University and the U.S. Navy Surface Warfare Officer’s School. Outside of the office, David serves as a trustee on the University of Minnesota Foundation board, as a board member on Minnesota Business Partnership, as a member of the Itasca Project (former chair), and as a corporate director with Bedford Technologies.  He also served as a founding board member of GreaterMSP and as a trustee with the Minneapolis Foundation.


Photo of RT Rybak

R.T. Rybak
is the president and CEO of The Minneapolis Foundation, a role in which he oversees the management of nearly $800 million in assets; the administration of more than 1,200 charitable funds created by individuals, families, and businesses; and the average annual distribution of more than $70 million in grants. He spent almost 30 years working in journalism, the commercial real estate business, publishing, and the Internet before being elected mayor of Minneapolis (2002-2013). Most recently, he served as Executive Director of Generation Next, a coalition of civic, business and school leaders focused on closing the racial achievement gap in Minneapolis and Saint Paul. Rybak holds a bachelor’s degree from Boston College.


Photo of Michael Vekich

Michael Vekich (Chair)
has served on the Minnesota State Colleges and Universities Board of Trustees since 2010, and has served as chair since 2015. He also previously served from 1996 to 2002 including four years as chair. He is the CEO of Vekich Chartered in Minneapolis, chairman of the Minnesota Sports Facilities Authority (U.S. Bank Stadium), and director of BNC National Bank. He currently serves as president and board member of the Bank Holding Company Association, president of the National Association of Corporate Directors, and as a member of the Hennepin County Capital Budgeting Task Force. Previously, he served as acting director of the Minnesota Lottery; chairman of HF Financial Corp (NASDAQ: HFFC) and Home Federal Bank; executive chairman, president, and chief operating officer of Skyline Exhibits in Eagan; CEO of Vekich Arkema and Company; chair of the Minnesota Board of Accountancy; a member of the Rochester Higher Education Development Committee; and as a founding member and vice chair of the Minnesota Higher Education Services Council. He earned an associate degree from Hibbing Community College and a bachelor’s degree from the University of Minnesota. 


Photo of Roger Moe

Roger Moe
has served on the Board of Trustees of Minnesota State since 2016, and is the current president of National Strategies, Inc. He previously served 32 years in the Minnesota Legislature, including 22 years as Senate Majority Leader. His legislative accomplishments include the creation of Minnesota State Colleges and Universities, the Minnesota Job Skills Partnership, the Midwest Higher Education Commission, and the Environmental Trust Fund. He has also served as the vice president of Coleman/Christison, Inc., and as a mathematics teacher and coach at Ada High School. He is a former member of the Policy Consensus Initiative Board of Directors, Debate Minnesota, the Minnesota Twins Community Fund Governance Committee, and the Minnesota Job Skills Partnership Board. He earned his bachelor’s degree from Mayville State University and an Honorary Doctor of Laws Degree from the University of Minnesota for his years of public service. 


Photo of Alex Cirillo

Alex Cirillo
has served on the Board of Trustees of Minnesota State Colleges and Universities since 2012. He was the vice president of community affairs for 3M prior to his retirement in 2010. He had worked in different roles at 3M since he joined the company in 1979 as a senior physicist. He currently serves on the Board of Directors for the Wilder Foundation and MinnCAN, and has been a member of the Itasca Project's working team since 2007. Previously, he served on the Board of Directors for the BioBusiness Alliance of Minnesota. Cirillo earned a bachelor's degree in chemistry from Catholic University of America and a master's degree and doctorate in chemistry, both from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee. 


Photo of Devinder Malhotra

Devinder Malhotra
was named Minnesota State chancellor in 2018 after first serving as interim chancellor in 2017. Previously, Dr. Malhotra was interim president of Metropolitan State University and provost and vice president of academic affairs at St. Cloud State University. Prior to that, he was dean of the College of Arts and Sciences at the University of Southern Maine. At the University of Akron, he served as chair of the Faculty Senate, chair of the Department of Economics, and associate dean of the Buchtel College of Arts and Sciences. He holds a doctorate in economics from Kansas State University and also is a graduate of the Management Development Program of the Harvard University Institutes of Higher Education. He holds both a bachelor’s degree and a master’s degree in economics from the University of Delhi in India.


Phase I of Reimagining Minnesota State will feature a series of five Forum Sessions, which will be an opportunity for in-depth study and discussion about the significant forces impacting the future of Minnesota State. Guest presenters will be invited to share their research and perspectives on the Session topic to spur discussion among the Forum Advisory Group and across the Minnesota State system. 

“In this approach, we will learn together in order to imagine what new approaches to innovation might look like within Minnesota State,” said Vekich. “These discussions will create a rich information set that will inform the Board and chancellor as we create a strategic agenda for the future of Minnesota State.” 

The first forum session is scheduled for: 

December 10, 2018
8-9:45am at Minneapolis Community and Technical College
The topic of this forum session will be “The Forces Impacting U.S. Higher Education” and will feature presentations on changing demographics, competition, funding models, and student needs and expectations. Session panelists will include: 

  • Nathan Grawe: Author of Demographics and the Demand for Higher Education
  • Chris Miller: Senior vice president, Educational Advisory Board
  • Jon McGee: Author of Breakpoint: The Changing Marketplace for Higher Education

The schedule for the rest of the Forum Sessions is: 

January 14, 2019
10-11:45am at St. Cloud State University
Topic: The Digital Age: The Impact and Future Possibilities Offered by Data and Technology

February 4, 2019
8-9:45am at Normandale Community College
Topic: The Nature of Work:  Changing Careers, Competencies, and Credentials in the Future 

March 6, 2019
10-11:45am at Minnesota State University, Mankato
Topic: The Student: Competition, Emerging Populations, and Changing Expectations 

April 8, 2019
8-9:45am (location to be determined)
Topic: Innovative Models: Meeting Consumer Expectations, Improving Outcomes, and Reducing Costs through Innovation

Forum sessions are open to the public and will be available via live streaming at www.minnstate.edu/forum. This site will also maintain information on both past and upcoming Forum Sessions. 

This portion of Reimagining Minnesota State, referred to as Phase I, is expected to be complete in May, 2019. In Phase II, the Board will use Phase 1 outcomes to create an approach to innovation that will engage leaders from all levels within Minnesota State in the practical work of identifying the organizational and operational changes that must occur to make progress on key outcomes of success.


About Minnesota State
Minnesota State includes 30 community and technical colleges and seven state universities serving approximately 375,000 students. It is the fourth-largest system of two-year colleges and four-year universities in the United States