Minnesota State Recognizes Leaders with Emeritus Status

Posted: June 18, 2024

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

ST. PAUL, Minn., June 18, 2024 – The Board of Trustees of the Minnesota State Colleges and Universities has recognized Adenuga Atetwologun, Anne Blackhurst, and Richard Rush with the title of President Emeritus, and Devinder Malhotra with the title of Chancellor Emeritus.”


Adenuga Atewologun served as president of Riverland Community College from 2013 until his retirement in 2023.

During his presidency, Riverland undertook an intensive review of academic programming and experienced significant growth in transfer pathway programs.

Under his stewardship, The Hormel Foundation created the Austin Assurance Scholarship that allows all Austin high school graduates an opportunity to attend Riverland without tuition cost. 

Atewologun was also instrumental in creating the Future of Advanced Agricultural Research in Minnesota, a public-private partnership bringing together the University of Minnesota, elected officials, and leaders from the private sector to provide a range of educational offerings for learners of all ages.


Karim Ismaili headshot

Anne Blackhurst served as president of Minnesota State University Moorhead from 2014 until her retirement in 2023.

Known affectionately as “President Anne” on campus, she led the University through the development of a strategic framework, focused resources on programs to meet workforce needs, and built key fundraising partnerships that yielded three of the largest gifts in the University’s history.

Her tenure will be remembered for its impact on thousands of students and preparing them to transform their professions and communities.




Richard Rush served as president of Minnesota State University, Mankato from 1992 to 2001, and is known for his focus on the student experience and his model of servant leadership.

The university flourished during his tenure, became known as an early adopter of technology to enhance learning, and grew its role in Minnesota and throughout the region.

He built partnerships with business and community leaders that led to new and transformed spaces including the construction of the Andreas Theatre and the Taylor Center and the renovation of the Myers Fieldhouse and Centennial Student Union.

He continues to be involved in the university and regularly attends celebrations and events and supports a variety of philanthropic areas at the university. 


Devinder Malhotra served as chancellor or interim chancellor from 2017 until his retirement in 2023. During that time, Minnesota State advanced its strategic priorities towards building a systemwide identity and leveraging the advantages that come from its scale and scope as one of the largest higher education systems in the country.

Under his leadership, Minnesota State launched Equity 2030, a key strategic initiative that set a critical goal of eliminating educational equity gaps, including by race and ethnicity, socioeconomic status, and first-generation status at every Minnesota State college and university by the year 2030.

Recognized as both a regional and a national leader in higher education, Malhotra also served in leadership roles at Metropolitan State University and St. Cloud State University.


Minnesota State includes 26 community and technical colleges and seven state universities serving approximately 300,000 students. It is the third-largest system of two-year colleges and four-year universities in the United States.