University of Minnesota, Morris announces appointment of new chancellor

Michelle Behr will take over the position in February .

Kevin Beckman

The University of Minnesota- Morris announced Michelle Behr as its next chancellor.

Behr will take over the position Feb. 6, pending approval by the University’s Board of Regents. Current Chancellor Jacqueline Johnson said in August 2015 that she would retire at the end of the 2015-16 academic year.

“I am thrilled that we are able to attract a leader of Michelle’s caliber,” University President Eric Kaler said in an emailed statement. “Michelle’s broad experience in the liberal arts, deep commitment to students and engagement in the broader higher education community make her an ideal person to lead the Morris campus.”

Behr is currently the Provost, Senior Vice President for Academic Affairs and Dean of the College at Birmingham-Southern College in Birmingham, Alabama. She has also served as a faculty member, department chair and dean at other colleges.

“It is a great privilege to have been selected as Morris’ next chancellor,” Behr said in an emailed statement. “I am excited to collaborate with the university community and friends to further the great work already taking place at Morris.”

In April, Rodney Hanley was selected to replace Johnson, but withdrew from the position before starting, citing it as the best decision for him and his family.

Kaler appointed a search committee — including Morris faculty, administrators, students and community members — to start recruiting a candidate pool last summer, said search committee chair Peh Ng

The search firm Witt/Kieffer was also contracted to recruit applicants, Ng said.

Ng said the committee sent reports of the final three applicants to Kaler for a final decision earlier this month.

Regents will vote on approval of Behr at their next full meeting Dec. 9.