Campus seeks leader

The hunt is on for a chancellor who will nurture the new Rochester campus.

by Tiff Clements

Today is the first deadline for applications for the newly created chancellorship at the University of Minnesota’s Rochester campus.

A 12-member panel of Rochester campus and community representatives, along with people from the Twin Cities and Duluth campuses, will review the applications in the coming weeks.

According to the job description, the chancellor would take the position in fall 2007. Currently, the campus’ highest-ranking academic official is Provost David Carl.

The committee is seeking an experienced academic leader with entrepreneurial skills, committee member and Rochester resident Marilyn Stewart said.

“The person who’s this chancellor needs to develop relationships not only within the private industry but also within the University system,” she said.

Stewart said the committee will continue to review applications until the ideal candidate is found.

University spokesman Dan Wolter said information about applicants is considered private until finalists are named and was unable to say how many people have applied for the position. He said no salary has been determined for the position.

Rochester nursing junior Shannon Rye said many people she talks to, even those in Rochester, don’t know that the University has a branch in the city. She said she hopes a chancellor will bring attention to the campus.

“It’s kind of a big deal for us to find someone who can promote the ‘U’ so that people are aware of our presence in Rochester,” Rye said. “It’s kind of a low blow when people in the city you’re going to school in don’t even know that the school exists.”

She said she hopes Rochester’s new chancellor will strengthen connections between University campuses.

“I think there are a lot of opportunities in Rochester that students in the Twin Cities would enjoy participating in, particularly those in the health sciences.”

The University contracted Academic Search, Inc., a company that specializes in job searches for high-profile academic positions, to help with the hiring process.

Garry Owens, the consultant with the firm managing the Rochester search, said he is responsible for writing and distributing a job description, using existing contacts to find qualified candidates and directing the search from a logistical standpoint.

“Typically, search committees for presidents and chancellors tend to be very diverse and very broad,” he said. “It really helps to have someone who can help pull all of these things together.”

Community and legislative funding have helped the University increase its presence in Rochester in recent years. President Bob Bruininks named the campus an official member of the University of Minnesota system in a November 2006 speech to the Rochester Higher Education Development Committee.

Joseph Marchesani, committee member and program director for baccalaureate degrees and graduate education programs at Rochester, said the new chancellor will need to be able to deal with the campus’ growing pains.

“Being that we are a newer campus, it will create new challenges for that person,” he said. “Because we are the smallest campus, it will create additional challenges.”