Board of Trustees Re-Elect Jay Cowles as Chair, Roger Moe as Vice Chair

Posted: June 17, 2020

Contact: Doug Anderson,, 651-201-1426

ST. PAUL, Minn., June 17, 2020 – The Board of Trustees of Minnesota State Colleges and Universities has unanimously re-elected Jay Cowles to the role of Chair, and Roger Moe to serve as Vice Chair. Both appointments become effective July 1, 2020 and have a term of one year.

“This past year has been a truly historic time,” said Cowles. “I would like to offer my sincere gratitude to the leadership of Minnesota State, to our faculty and staff, and most importantly, to our students for their resilience and perseverance overcoming the incredible challenges we are facing today. I look forward to continuing to serve as chair as we work together towards a stronger Minnesota and a brighter future.” 


Cowles has served on the Board of Trustees since 2014, including as treasurer from 2015 to 2018, as vice chair since 2018, and as chair since 2019. Previously, he held staff, operating management, and governance roles in Cowles Media Company, former owners of the Star Tribune newspaper, including vice chairman of the Board of Directors from 1991 to 1993 and chairman from 1993 to 1998. He was until 2016 the president of Unity Avenue Associates, a private family investment office, and he also served as chairman and president of the Women’s Pro Softball League, a startup sports enterprise that continues today as National Pro Fastpitch. He is a founding member of the Itasca Project and currently serves as a member of the Minneapolis Downtown Council, the Mississippi Park Connection, and other civic organizations. He also holds advisory roles at the University of Minnesota including the Hubert H. Humphrey School of Public Affairs and the Center for Transportation Studies. He has served a number of civic and arts organizations including the Saint Paul Foundation, the Minnesota Community Foundation, and the Guthrie Theater. He holds a bachelor’s degree from Harvard College and an MBA from Harvard Business School.


Roger Moe, who has served on the Board of Trustees since 2016, was re-elected to serve as vice chair. “Serving in this role is a true privilege, and I am honored by the confidence in me shown by my fellow trustees,” said Moe. A resident of Erskine, MN, he 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 is currently the president of National Strategies, Inc., and he has also served as the Vice President of Coleman/Christison, Inc., and as a mathematics teacher and coach at Ada High School. Moe is a former member of the Policy Consensus Initiative Board of Directors, Debate Minnesota, the Minnesota Twins Community Fund, and the Minnesota Job Skills Partnership Board. Senator Moe earned his bachelor’s degree from Mayville State University and received an Honorary Doctor of Laws Degree from the University of Minnesota for his years of public service.


Minnesota State includes 30 community and technical colleges and seven state universities serving approximately 350,000 students. It is the third-largest system of two-year colleges and four-year universities in the United States.