Rosenstone Takes Over as MnSCU Chancellor

Steven Rosenstone succeeds James McCormick and serves as the fourth chancellor of the university system.

Steven Rosenstone on Monday officially assumed the role of chancellor of Minnesota State Colleges and Universities (MnSCU).

MnSCU announced in February that Rosenstone would succeed James McCormick, who recently retired after serving 10 years as chancellor. Rosenstone will serve as the fourth chancellor of the university system, which began operations in 1995.

Rosenstone was formerly the vice president for scholarly and cultural affairs and a political science professor at the University of Minnesota. Since his appointment as MnSCU chancellor in February, he has visited 24 colleges and universities and met with more than 1,000 faculty, staff, and community leaders across the state, MnSCU said.

He sent an e-mail to all MnSCU faculty and staff on Monday asking them to provide their “most creative idea for seizing the opportunities that lie ahead,” and he intends to select some of the suggestions and share them with the MnSCU board of trustees in September.

“With 70 percent of the jobs in Minnesota requiring postsecondary education by 2018, we must dramatically increase the number of students who earn degrees, certificates, and diplomas,” Rosenstone said in a statement. “We also must continue to improve the quality of our programs even in the wake of fewer state dollars.”

A report by Minnesota Public Radio points out that “lingering scars over the way MnSCU was created may still be the biggest barrier” Rosenstone faces, as not all schools in the system were initially in favor of being added to the system, and many now want to emphasize their differences from other schools in the system.

But Rosenstone ensured he doesn't plan to lead by decree: “They're not conversations that will occur by a lighting bolt coming out of the new chancellor's office saying, 'Damn it, this is how we're going to go forward,'” Rosenstone told MPR. “Instead, they're conversations that will occur by people working together across the system to find the best way to move forward as partners on behalf of Minnesota's future.”

The MnSCU system comprises 31 state universities and community and technical colleges in Minnesota. It serves about 430,000 students across the state.