MNSCU eyes U VP for top spot

Steven Rosenstone has been named one of two finalists for chancellor of the Minnesota State Colleges and Universities.

Evelina Smirnitskaya

Only months after the University of Minnesota chose its next president, MnSCU âÄî the stateâÄôs largest college system âÄî announced a high-ranking University official as one of the finalists for its executive position.

Steven Rosenstone, vice president for scholarly and cultural affairs at the University, has been named one of two finalists for chancellor of the Minnesota State Colleges and Universities.

Rosenstone and the other candidate, William Sederburg, commissioner of the Utah System of Higher Education, were announced as finalists Monday.

MnSCUâÄôs Board of Trustees will interview both men today in small groups. The finalists will then face the full board tomorrow morning, and the trustees will reconvene in the afternoon to make the final decision.

Rosenstone first came to the University in 1996 as dean of the College of Liberal Arts. He is also a tenured member of the political science department faculty. Named a vice president in 2007, he had been charged with leading the UniversityâÄôs efforts to renovate Northrop Auditorium.

He was unavailable for comment Monday but said in a statement he was deeply honored to be considered for the position.

A total of 46 applicants were considered for the MnSCU position, which is currently held by James McCormick. HeâÄôll retire this summer, as will current University President Bob Bruininks.

That group was narrowed down to 11 candidates who were interviewed by a search committee that included students, faculty and community representatives. From there, the committee recommended four candidates.

“WeâÄôre looking for a leader who could take the system into its next phase,” said Travis Johnson, a member of the committee and president of Minnesota State College Student Association.

The MnSCU system serves about 277,000 credit-seeking students at 32 universities and colleges across the state.

Bruininks said in a statement that the announcement is a great honor for the University.

“MnSCUâÄôs gain would certainly be a great loss to the University of Minnesota, but we will celebrate with Dr. Rosenstone if he gets this position and look forward to continued collaboration with him,” Bruininks said.

There has been no discussion regarding RosenstoneâÄôs replacement before MnSCU announces the boardâÄôs decision. But Bruininks previously stated that he is unlikely to replace executive vacancies before President-designate Eric Kaler assumes office in July.

If chosen as MnSCU chancellor, Rosenstone could be the third vice president to depart the University recently, following Vice President for University Relations Karen Himle and Vice President for Equity and Diversity Nancy Barcelo. Their positions remain open.