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Chancellor Search

Minnesota State seeks a visionary and inspirational higher education leader for what is the largest and most diverse provider of higher education in Minnesota, and the third-largest system of colleges and universities in the United States.

Minnesota State is a diverse and vibrant network of 26 colleges and seven state universities that provides a safe and inclusive environment for all students, faculty, and staff. We are committed to Equity 2030, a systemwide shared vision to close the educational equity gaps at all Minnesota State colleges and universities by the year 2030.

The next Chancellor will be joining the Minnesota State system at a pivotal time, requiring a leader who is able to transform public higher education while focusing on student success to meet the needs of a rapidly changing society. In addition, our next leader will encourage and honor the innovation and dynamism of the individual colleges and universities and foster their collective vivacity while also harnessing the power of operating as a system.

The successful candidate will have significant experience in a mission-driven, complex organization, a demonstrated record of leading transformative change and financial sustainability efforts, and an entrepreneurial mindset to support new approaches for meeting the changing needs of the state. They will be a champion for equity and inclusion; and will be a collaborative leader with humility and integrity, who can set the strategic vision for Minnesota State. The ideal candidate will have proven experience in marshalling the combined assets of a system to serve students and the state.

In this rapidly changing world, there are many challenges and opportunities ahead for the next generation of Minnesota State students. The Board of Trustees seeks an equity-minded and transformational leader who will leverage the strengths of the entire Minnesota State system to maximize the role of public higher education in successfully addressing those challenges on behalf of students and realizing opportunities for the state of Minnesota and beyond.

Find the print version of Chancellor Search, it includes all of the information below.

Minnesota State serves 300,000 students annually and more students of color, first-generation college students, and students of modest financial means than anyone else in the state.

  • We offer the lowest tuition in Minnesota
  • Our colleges and universities have 54 campuses that are conveniently located in 47 communities throughout Minnesota
  • We provide more than 4,023 academic programs, including 893 offered entirely online
  • We award more than 36,000 degrees, certificates, and diplomas annually
  • 84.5% of graduates are employed in a field related to their degree program
  • Our colleges and universities produce more graduates for jobs in critical, high-demand fields such as health care and information technology than anyone else in the state
  • We employ more than 14,400 dedicated faculty and staff focused on student success
  • We provide essential training and specialized certification options for business, industry, and professionals throughout Minnesota

Budget and Finance

  • Approximately 65% of our annual expenses are for our talented faculty and staff.
  • Minnesota State is highly efficient, ranking 41st in the nation (as of 2020) in terms of administrative overhead per student served.
  • Minnesota State’s annual operating budget is about $2 billion, of which $790 million comes from state appropriation and $715 million from tuition.
  • The system manages 843 buildings totaling 28 million square feet and has capital budget that has ranged from $100 million to 250 million every two years.

There are two systems of public higher education in Minnesota; the University of Minnesota system, which is a land grant institution, and the Minnesota State system of comprehensive regional universities, and community and technical colleges. There are also a number of private colleges and universities within the state. All higher education institutions partner with the Minnesota Office of Higher Education, a government agency, as well as with all P-12 districts throughout the state on various initiatives.

The Minnesota State Framework was introduced in Fall 2022 to inform the Minnesota State strategic and operational priorities. This framework builds on work completed during the past several years, provides clarity for future efforts, and informs the annual chancellor/system office workplan. Learn more about the Minnesota State Workplan at


Equity 2030

In June 2019, we set a critical goal: By 2030, Minnesota State will eliminate the educational equity gaps at every Minnesota State college and university.

Equity 2030 serves as the organizing principle across all campuses – for all our work, our operational structures, policies and procedures, and for the inclusive, safe, and anti-racist organizational ethos we strive to reach.

Only by addressing systemic inequities in educational access and outcomes can we build a better future for students, families, and our communities. It is both a moral imperative and the path to economic prosperity.

The pandemic further magnified persistent racial disparities across the country and in Minnesota, and we have doubled down on our commitment, advancing Equity 2030 with a strong sense of urgency and united resolve.

Our approach to meeting this goal coordinates key initiatives across Minnesota State focused on the following six strategic dimensions:

  • Enhanced Access
  • Student Academic Success
  • Student Success: Engagement and Support
  • Data-Guided Decision Making
  • Financial Resources and Support
  • Workforce Diversity

For more information about Equity 2030,visit


NextGen is the Minnesota State project focused on creating a new technology landscape to support students, faculty, and staff at our 33 state colleges and universities across Minnesota. In November 2020, Workday was selected as the vendor for the new ERP/SIS. The project is projected to be completed in 2027.

NextGen will play a critical role in the ability of Minnesota State faculty and staff to increase the success of our students at every step on their higher education journey – from application to graduation and beyond. It will link all 54 campuses and will serve as a unified administrative technology system that improves the student experience and streamlines enterprise-wide business processes in student services, finance, and human resources.

This cloud-based technology will replace ISRS, the cornerstone data system for the colleges and universities of Minnesota State for more than 20 years. ISRS was originally developed by in-house information technology professionals to meet the needs of Minnesota’s state colleges and universities after merging as a single system.
For complete and up to date information regarding this key initiative please visit,

The chancellor serves as the executive officer of this $2 billion public enterprise, directly reporting to the governor-appointed Board of Trustees. The role has full executive responsibility for providing effective management, operations, and educational leadership to the 33 colleges and universities of Minnesota State, ensuring that the system meets the current and long-term educational and workforce development needs of all Minnesotans.  

The Chancellor’s responsibilities include implementing board policy; providing for academic leadership; recommending operating and capital budgets; recommending allocation of resources; planning; oversight of collective bargaining; providing information systems; management of personnel resources; direct supervision and annual evaluation of the 30 presidents and chancellor’s cabinet. Learn more at

Preferred Qualifications

  • An understanding of the value and unique missions of the system’s community colleges, technical colleges, comprehensive colleges, and state universities, along with the shared mission of the enterprise
  • An understanding of the unique attributes of higher education and the current opportunities and challenges facing public higher education in Minnesota and nationally
  • Demonstrated commitment to serving students and leading an enterprise dedicated to student success
    Proven experience of strategic and inclusive planning with the ability to anticipate, evaluate, and adapt to changing conditions through innovation
  • Demonstrated ability to lead, communicate, and execute change in a large, complex organization
  • Demonstrated ability to establish strong relationships and deliver a compelling message with local, state, and federal government officials, business, philanthropic and community leaders, and other diverse constituencies to support students, champion Minnesota State, and advance programs and services that support workforce and economic development
  • Demonstrated commitment to public service and public education
  • An experienced leader in advancing diversity, equity, and inclusion, and establishing working and learning environments of trust and mutual respect
  • A demonstrated record of financial acumen and ability to effectively manage human, fiscal, and capital resources
  • Proven success in working with a governing board
  • A demonstrated understanding and ability to work effectively in an unionized environment
  • Ability to collaborate with key stakeholders to develop strategic goals and allocate resources across Minnesota State to achieve those goals
  • Demonstrated effective leadership with strong emphasis on accountability for results
  • Experience in a multi-location, geographically dispersed operating environment
  • A record of working with the highest level of integrity, exceptional interpersonal skills, strong influencing skills, high degree of self-awareness, and empathy
  • An earned doctorate or terminal degree

Benefits and Compensation

The position is covered by the Minnesota State Administrators plan:

The chancellor’s office is located in the system office in downtown St. Paul. Statewide travel is required.

Greenwood/Asher & Associates, Inc. is assisting Minnesota State Colleges and Universities in this search. Applications and nominations are now being accepted. Confidential inquiries, nominations and application materials should be directed to Greenwood/Asher & Associates.

For a full application package please provide a cover letter, CV, and list of five references. The position will remain open until filled. However, only complete applications received by February 21, 2023, are assured full consideration.

The search will be conducted with a commitment of confidentiality for candidates until finalists are selected. Initial screening of applications will begin immediately and will continue until an appointment is made.

Please direct inquiries and application materials to:

Jim Johnsen, Ed.D
Vice President, Executive Search at Greenwood Asher & Associates, LLC

Lauren McCaghren
Senior Executive Search Consultant at Greenwood Asher & Associates, LLC

This position has an expected start date of August 1, 2023.

Search Advisory Committee

Pam Wheelock, Co-chair
Community Leader

George Soule, Co-chair
Board of Trustees

Carrie Brimhall               
President, Minnesota State Community and Technical College

Jenna Chernega              
President, IFO

Alex Cirillo                        

Jay Cowles                        

Nicole Emerson               
Chair, MAPE

Jennifer Erwin                  
President, Minnesota State Policy Committee, AFSCME

Joyce Ester                       
President, Normandale Community College

David Fredrickson
Former Commissioner of the Minnesota Department of Agriculture, State Senator, and President of National Farmers Union

Satasha Green-Stephen
Senior Vice Chancellor for Academic and Student Affairs

Kumara Jayasuriya         
President, Southwest Minnesota State University

Gary Kloos                     
Executive Director, MMA

Alex Kromminga             
President, MSUAASF

Kevin Lindstrom              
President, MSCF

Tuleah Palmer
President and CEO, Blandin Foundation

Mike Raich                        
President, Minnesota North College

John Runningen              
President, LeadMN

Kathy Sheran                   

Jaime Simonsen              
Chief of Staff

Andrea Walsh
President and CEO, HealthPartners

Kaileigh Weber                              
State Chair, Students United


December 15, 2022          Search Advisory Committee appointed

January 9, 2023                Advertising begins

February 21, 2023            Deadline for full application consideration

Mid-March, 2023              Confidential first round of interviews with select candidates (ZOOM)

Mid-April, 2023                 Public announcement of finalists

Late-April, 2023                Finalist interviews and open forums

May, 2023                          Board Meeting to appoint the next Chancellor

August 1, 2023                 Contract start date

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