Tag Archives: Devinder Malhotra

From the Chancellor: Job well done!

Dear colleagues,

Last summer, I wrote to you at the beginning of the academic year when I began serving as interim chancellor. As you know, the Board of Trustees appointed me chancellor on March 2. Serving as Minnesota State chancellor is an honor, a privilege, and an awesome responsibility, but I am confident that with more than 16,000 faculty and staff, 30 presidents, and other institutional leaders as partners, we can accomplish the task ahead together.

Devinder Malhotra
Devinder Malhotra

As commencement ceremonies celebrate the more than 20,000 students who are graduating this spring, it is clear what the colleges and universities of Minnesota State mean to the people of communities across our state. My understanding of our complexity and the challenges we face has matured over time (much as I have, though it might be surprising to some!) from my time at St. Cloud State University, at Metropolitan State University, and as your interim chancellor.

A couple of weeks ago, I undertook a three-day, 936-mile tour that included campus visits and discussions with local television and newspapers in ten cities – St. Cloud, Bemidji, Fargo-Moorhead, Worthington, Marshall, Mankato, Winona, Red Wing, and the final two campuses in my quest to visit all of our 54 campuses: Central Lakes College in Staples and the Canby campus of Minnesota West Community and Technical College.

My goal was to tell our story – the story of the college or university in each media market and how those campuses are absolutely vital to the social and economic vibrancy of the community they serve; and also the story of the collective impact of all our colleges and universities across the state. A powerful symbol of that impact is the 40,000 students who graduate from our campuses every year and bring their skills and talents back into Minnesota communities. That is critical when you’re greeted by Help Wanted signs these days, no matter what city or town you’re in.

I’d like to share with you just two examples from my recent campus visits that reveal what we do and who we are as a system of colleges and universities:

At Central Lakes College, I toured the 360-acre operations field (affectionately known as “the sand box”) used by the Heavy Equipment Operations and Maintenance program, which is the largest laboratory at any of our colleges and universities. Central Lakes students gain hands-on experience running equipment fitted with the latest GPS technology, including one piece of equipment for laying pipe donated by community partners.

My visit to Minnesota West in Canby gave me a great deal to reflect on. It’s where I met Jody Olson, an incredibly proud supporter of the Canby campus, whose late husband, Dr. Robert Olson, was instrumental in the creation of what was then Canby Area Vocational Technical Institute in 1965. Jody continues that legacy through an annual scholarship, and her family’s generosity represents the generosity of families and community partners who over the years helped build our system of colleges and universities. Because of people like the Olsons, the Canby campus of Minnesota West is now home to unique programs such as Wind Energy Technology, which attracts students from across the state.

Canby is also where I was presented with a sacred ceremonial Lakota pipe carved by Ray Redwing, a Vietnam Navy veteran, member of the Santee Dakota Nation, and pipe carver who worked at Pipestone National Monument for over two decades. I was told the pipe represents the four directions from which the four winds come, and each direction and each wind has a special meaning: North brings the cold, cleansing winds of winter. South stands for warmth and growing. East is where the sun rises, bringing a new day. And West is the source of thunder and rain, which provides our lakes, streams, and rivers. I was deeply moved by this gift, and the wisdom behind it will be an inspiration as we respond to our challenges and to the headwinds facing higher education.

At every campus I set foot on, I am incredibly humbled and impressed by the deep commitment faculty, staff, and community members show for students and for the college or university. From a simple “hello” faculty and staff say to students in the hallway, to the president who doesn’t think it’s beneath him to stop to pick up trash, to community partners who make it possible for our students to have real-world experience long before they graduate, I sense something powerful that’s unlike anything that exists at any other higher education providers. That’s what makes Minnesota State and the work we do very special. We are the flagship higher education system for the state of Minnesota.

The past year has been a learning experience for me – first as interim and now learning what it means to be the long-term chancellor. I began the year planning to pass the torch to the next chancellor, little did I realize that I would be passing it along to myself. I finish this year well aware that I have much to do and much to learn from all of you, but I am excited about our partnership and the work ahead.

One final thought: as we strive to provide the educational experiences our students need, I hope we will all remember to take care of ourselves and each other.

Until my next visit to your campus,

Chancellor Malhotra signature

Devinder Malhotra

Minnesota State responds to Gov. Dayton’s State of the State address

SAINT PAUL, Minn., March 14, 2018 – In his State of the State address, Gov. Mark Dayton recommended $10 million in supplemental campus support funding for the colleges and universities of Minnesota State. This follows the strong bonding recommendation the Governor first announced in January that would provide for significant investments in the facilities of our state colleges and universities.

“We sincerely appreciate the tremendous support that Gov. Dayton has always shown for higher education and the 30 colleges and seven state universities of Minnesota State,” said Devinder Malhotra, chancellor of Minnesota State. “All of the supplemental campus support funding recommended by the Governor would go directly to our colleges and universities to support the success of our 375,000 students. This is a critical need for our 54 campuses to continue to be the key to developing the talent needed to grow Minnesota’s economy.”

Gov. Dayton also expressed continued support for asset preservation and capital projects at the colleges and universities of Minnesota State. “The infrastructure supported in the Governor’s recommendation are the facilities that our students need in order to become the talent that drives the growth of Minnesota’s economy. The capital projects in the Governor’s proposal will directly benefit students and expand our capabilities in fields that are in high demand by employers such as nursing, STEM, information technology, and the liberal arts. We thank him for his leadership in this important work. I look forward to working with the Board of Trustees, campus leaders, students, faculty, and staff  across the state to make our case to the legislature and to the citizens of Minnesota,” Malhotra said.

For more information about the Minnesota State supplemental budget and bonding requests, visit http://minnstate.edu/legislative/.

Devinder Malhotra to continue as Chancellor of Minnesota State

SAINT PAUL, Minnesota – The Board of Trustees of Minnesota State Colleges and Universities has voted to name Devinder Malhotra as the chancellor of Minnesota State. The move comes after a search committee forwarded to the Board of Trustees three finalists for consideration, and the board concluded that none of the three were the right individual to serve as chancellor for Minnesota State. After approval by the Board, Malhotra is to be offered a three year contract to serve in the role of chancellor.

“Malhotra has accomplished much during his service as interim chancellor,” said Michael Vekich, chair of the Board of Trustees. “He has deepened the relationship between Minnesota State and both the bargaining units and student associations. He has encouraged open communication between the Board and our presidents. He has brought a laser focus to student success, and he has reaffirmed our commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusion by fostering a culture in which we can have difficult conversations about critical issues.”

Malhotra has been serving as interim chancellor since August, 2017 after the retirement of Steven Rosenstone, who served as chancellor from 2011 to 2017. Malhota was appointed to this role in February, 2017 after the Board of Trustees concluded at that time that a nationwide search for a permanent chancellor had not identified the right individual to serve in this role. The next phase of the search began in September, 2017, and culminated with the March 2, 2018 special meeting of the Board of Trustees to consider three additional finalists, and the Board again concluded that none of the finalists was the right individual to serve as chancellor for Minnesota State.

“The Board has high aspirations for the work the chancellor must accomplish if we are to respond to an ever-changing higher education and workplace landscape,” said Vekich. “This includes maintaining a focus on student success, completing the priorities this board has set, most notably implementation of Charting the Future; and moving forward on ways to ensure the long term financial sustainability of our colleges and universities.”

Vekich stated he will be commissioning a strategic taskforce to evaluate all processes related to student success to understand the barriers students experience and ensure they are able to achieve their education goals.

Prior to his service as interim chancellor, Malhotra had served in leadership positions at other Minnesota State universities including Metropolitan State University as interim president from 2014 to 2016, and at St. Cloud State University as provost and vice president for Academic Affairs from 2009 to 2014. Previously, he served as the dean of the college of Arts and Sciences at the University of Southern Maine from 2005 to 2009 and as associate dean of the Buchtel College of Arts and Sciences at the University of Akron. He also served as a tenured professor of economics on the faculty of the University of Southern Maine and the University of Akron. He holds a bachelor’s degree and a master’s from the University of Delhi and a doctorate from Kansas State University. He has also completed the Management Development Program of the Harvard Institutes for Higher Education.

The chancellor is the chief executive officer of the Minnesota State system and has full executive responsibility for higher education leadership and effective management and operation of the system. The chancellor’s responsibilities include implementing board policy; providing for academic leadership including making recommendations to the board for college and university presidents and cabinet members; recommending operating and capital budgets; recommending allocation of resources; systemwide planning; oversight of collective bargaining; coordinating enterprise-wide information systems; management of personnel resources; and annual evaluation of the college and university presidents. The chancellor works in close collaboration with the system’s Leadership Council comprised of the chancellor’s cabinet and the presidents of the colleges and universities.

Stephanie Hammitt named interim president of Fond du Lac Tribal and Community College

Stephanie Hammitt
Stephanie Hammitt

SAINT PAUL, Minn. – The Board of Trustees of Minnesota State Colleges and Universities has named Stephanie Hammitt to serve as interim president of Fond du Lac Tribal and Community College (FDLTCC). The appointment becomes effective July 1, 2018 following the retirement of the current president Larry Anderson.

“We cannot ask for a better interim leader for Fond du Lac Tribal and Community College,” said interim chancellor Devinder Malhotra. “She has tremendous support from both internal and external stakeholders, and is in an outstanding position to build upon the college’s partnership with the Fond du Lac Band of Lake Superior Chippewa and enhance the joint identity of the college as both a tribal and community college.”

Hammitt has served Fond du Lac Tribal and Community College for approximately 27 years and is currently the vice president of Finance and Administration. From 1990-1996 and 2008-2016, she was the Chief Financial Officer at FDLTCC; in the interim, she served on the Tribal College’s Board of Directors, including many as board chair. From 1996 to 2008, she worked for the Fond du Lac Band of Lake Superior Chippewa as internal auditor and later was the Band’s comptroller for nearly seven years. She holds a bachelor’s degree from the University of Minnesota, Duluth.

The search for a permanent president of Fond du Lac Tribal and Community College will begin in the fall of 2018.

Minnesota State announces 400 scholarships for high demand sector programs

Devinder Malhotra
Devinder Malhotra
SAINT PAUL, Minn., Jan. 23, 2018 – Minnesota State today announced the availability of 400 new scholarships of $2,500 each for students enrolling in high-demand programs at state colleges.
The scholarships will be available Fall semester 2018 to new students enrolling at any Minnesota State college in associate degree, diploma, or certificate programs that prepare graduates for careers in high demand sectors including advanced manufacturing, agriculture, health care services, and information technology. Scholarship awards are scheduled to be announced on March 30, 2018. Students should check with specific colleges for application deadlines.
Initially funded by a $1 million appropriation from the 2017 session of the Minnesota Legislature, the colleges and universities of Minnesota State are working with business and industry partners to supplement these scholarships through private contributions intended to make higher education even more affordable within these high demand industries.
“Minnesota State develops the talent businesses need in order to continue growing and thriving,” said Devinder Malhotra, interim chancellor of Minnesota State. “We are grateful to the legislature for this investment and look forward to delivering an impressive return for the taxpayers of Minnesota.”

Governor recommends $180 million to address deferred maintenance at all 54 Minnesota State campuses

$94.5 million in capital projects on 16 campuses also recommended

ST. PAUL, Minn., Jan. 16, 2018 – Today Gov. Dayton announced his top priority for this year’s legislative session: investments in infrastructure, including $180 million in asset preservation and replacement projects that would touch all 54 campuses within the Minnesota State system.  He also recommended $63.0 million in state funds be combined with $31.5 million in system funds be allocated to pay for 16 campus-based renovation projects to meet the needs of 21st century learners.

“Thank you, Gov. Dayton, for the strong recommendation for investment in the assets our colleges and universities maintain for students on behalf of the people of Minnesota,” said Devinder Malhotra, chancellor for Minnesota State.

Investing in world class colleges and universities

The top priority within the Minnesota State request to the legislature this year is asset preservation and replacement funds, with 40 percent of projects related to roofing, as Minnesota State is sheltered by 301 acres of roofs.  The next largest category of spending – 21 percent – will be used to maintain or replace the more than 2,600 different pieces of HVAC equipment, such as boilers and air handlers at the system’s 54 campuses.  Investments such as these in asset preservation ensure that campus operating dollars are dedicated to improving educational outcomes instead of repairing buildings.  Funding asset preservation projects will remain a top priority in future years, as well, due to a backlog of $913 million of deferred maintenance.

“Every year, Minnesota State welcomes more than 375,000 students who dream of being our state’s next generation of workers and leaders,” Malhotra said.  “The facilities supported in the governor’s recommendation are the bricks and mortar where the magic of higher education takes place; where our students’ dreams for a better future come true; and where they become the talent Minnesota absolutely must have if it is going to continue to thrive in today’s knowledge-based global economy.”

In addition to the asset preservation recommendation, Gov. Dayton also recommended that the legislature fund capital projects on 16 different campuses.

“These capital projects are designed to directly benefit students and provide a much-needed expansion of training and education in fields such as allied health, nursing, trades, STEM disciplines, business, information technology, education, and the liberal arts,” Malhotra said.  “I’m very grateful for Gov. Dayton’s leadership and advocacy for public higher education, for the students who benefit from it, and for the state’s future workforce.”

For additional information about the Minnesota State 2018 Capital Request, visit http://minnstate.edu/legislative/.

Minnesota State kicks-off next phase of search for chancellor

ST. PAUL, Minn., Sept. 20, 2017 – With the retirement of Steven Rosenstone, who served as chancellor from 2011 – 2017, and with Devinder Malhotra serving as interim chancellor, Minnesota State has begun the next phase in the search for its permanent chancellor.

Former MnSCU Chancellor Rosenstone

“The most important responsibility of the Board of Trustees is the selection of the chancellor of the fourth largest system of higher education in the nation,” said Michael Vekich, chair of the Minnesota State Colleges and Universities Board of Trustees. “This is a critical role, responsible for providing leadership for our state colleges and universities as they develop the talent that businesses and communities across Minnesota need in order to thrive. We are committed to filling this role with a gifted leader who has the experience and the collaborative skills required to keep our system of state colleges and universities moving forward.”

To assist in the search process, the Board of Trustees has appointed a search advisory committee comprised of trustees, students, faculty, and staff as well as presidents, members of the chancellor’s cabinet, and community leaders.

Devinder Malhotra
Devinder Malhotra, former interim president of Metropolitan State University, is serving as the interim chancellor.

To manage the search process, Minnesota State has engaged Wheless Partners, one of the nation’s leading executive search consultant and human capital advisor firms experienced in working with a range of clients, including higher education, global Fortune 500 companies, private equity firms, government organizations, public and private institutions, and entrepreneurial startups. Wheless Partners has led many successful executive searches across the state of Minnesota, and the higher education team has conducted presidential and chancellor searches for numerous public and private universities and systems nationally. “We were impressed,” Vekich added, “with Wheless’ track record for going beyond traditional methods of recruiting to develop a broad pool of candidates.”

According to Vekich, the search will continue until a permanent chancellor is found.

The colleges and universities of Minnesota State offer more than 3,700 academic programs and over 600 online programs, and award over 40,000 degrees, certificates, and diplomas each year.  More than 87 percent of graduates get jobs related to their field of study, and over 80 percent stay in Minnesota to work or continue their education.

Statement of Interim Chancellor Devinder Malhotra regarding DACA

ST. PAUL, Minn., Sept. 5, 2017 – At Minnesota State, our core commitments include opening the doors of educational opportunity and ensuring access to an extraordinary education for all Minnesotans.  The diversity of our campus communities is a key strength – one that makes us who we are and allows our state colleges and universities to play the critical role they do.

As our nationwide dialog concerning Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals  (DACA) continues to unfold, we will continue to express our steadfast support for this policy and strongly urge our federal delegation to preserve its protections. Terminating or phasing out DACA would leave thousands of young people across the country, including perhaps some of our students, with uncertain futures. We are committed to working with our students, our faculty, our staff, and our representatives in Washington toward a long-term solution that supports DACA students and allows them to continue to contribute to our vibrant communities throughout Minnesota and to our economy. Our campuses will remain safe and welcoming places of inclusion, hope, and opportunity for all of our students, faculty, and staff.

Study abroad in Nagasaki, Japan

With the recent signing of two memoranda of understanding agreements, Metropolitan State will soon offer the opportunity to study abroad at Nagasaki University in Japan.

Nagasaki is a beautiful subtropical port city, rich in both history and modern industry. Saint Paul and Nagasaki have been sister cities for over 60 years and students now have the chance to experience Nagasaki through this new exchange program. Students will study at a prestigious institution that traces back to Japan’s first school of western medicine founded in the mid-19th century, and has produced a Nobel Prize laureate in chemistry.

Through Saint Paul’s and Nagasaki’s sister city relationship, Metropolitan State University and the Saint Paul-Nagasaki Sister City Committee have collaborated to promote peace, justice, and international understanding. Metropolitan State’s former Interim President, Dr. Devinder Malhotra, visited Nagasaki as part of Saint Paul Mayor Chris Coleman’s delegation in October 2015. Malhotra met Nagasaki University President Shigeru Katamine and discussed the possibility of academic cooperation at that time.

Students can choose from a semester or year-long programs, taught mostly in Japanese. Students can also opt for the very popular two-week interdisciplinary and international Environmental Expert Seminar, taught in English and incorporating fascinating field trips to the A-bomb Museum, Unzen Geopark, Obama Binary Power Station, and Mitsubishi Shipyard.

Interested students should contact Prof. Michal Moskow
at michal.moskow@metrostate.edu or Prof. Sumiko Otsubo at sumiko.otsubo@metrostate.edu.