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MnSCU chief visits Minnesota West

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WORTHINGTON — Minnesota State Colleges and Universities (MnSCU) Chancellor Steven Rosenstone made a stop at Minnesota West Community and Technical College’s Worthington campus on Monday, in the midst of a two-day tour to each Minnesota West campus to discuss qualities critical to the success of the college’s next president.

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Richard Shrubb announced his departure in December as president of Minnesota West, effective June 30.

Since it is too late in the season to begin a national search, Rosenstone — who provides academic leadership to the MnSCU system’s 31 colleges and universities — plans to seek an interim president to serve during the 2014-2015 academic year.

“After my visit to Minnesota West Community and Technical College, I will put out a call for nominations and expressions of interest with the hope of bringing to the Board of Trustees (MnSCU) my recommendation for interim president this winter,” Rosenstone said.

“I anticipate that the interim president will serve a full year, with a national search for the next president commencing in summer of 2014 and an appointment beginning on July 1, 2015.”

Faculty, staff and community leaders attended the hour-long forum discussing desired attributes of an interim and new president.

Some of the key issues discussed were:

* Making sure both the interim and new president have a small business background, and having a clear sense of serving the students. 

* Hope for the new president to be more involved in the community and at community events.

* Hiring someone who deeply understands the southwest Minnesota dynamic, and that Minnesota West is different from schools in the Twin Cities.

* A desire for a president who will assist faculty in compiling new ideas to help faculty and staff accommodate the needs of students with fewer staff due to budget cuts.

* The president should make sure there are enough resources for non-traditional students, as well as maintaining good customer service.

“Our community is very diverse — in District 518 alone we have a 58 percent diversity population,” District 518 Superintendent John Landgaard. “I think we need to address those students’ needs because there are some kids who are 17, 18 and 19 coming in who won’t have enough credits to graduate on time, and I believe there should be some sort of certificate type program to have those students be successful and transition them to college.”

Minnesota West Coordinator of Communications, Marketing and Advertising Amber Luinenburg explained the college is also working on a sizable housing project for students. Potential enrollment has been lost due to the lack of housing, she added.

Rosenstone will be taking nominations for the interim president starting next week. After they’re gathered, they will be presented to the MnSCU Board of Trustees. An interim president will be announced this spring.

Nominations can be sent to chancellor@so.mnscu.edu.

Daily Globe Reporter Erin Trester may be reached at 376-7322.

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Erin Trester
Erin Trester is the crime and city reporter for the Daily Globe. She's a native of Lewiston, MN, but moved to Buffalo, NY to attend college and obtained her bachelor's degree in Communications. She started at the Western New York Catholic Newspaper as a reporter in Buffalo, but in October 2013 she returned to her home state to start with the Daily Globe. Most of her spare time is taken up by her 13-year-old thoroughbred named Faith, but some of her other hobbies include reading, fishing and spending time with friends and family. 
(507) 376-7322
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