SMSU president finalists named

MARSHALL ? Two finalists were announced Wednesday afternoon in the search for the next president at Southwest Minnesota State University.

Minnesota State Colleges and Universities (MnSCU) named Connie J. Gores and Ronald Rosati as the two finalists to be considered after receiving recommendations from a search advisory committee comprised of students, faculty, staff and community leaders. Richard Davenport, president of Minnesota State University, Mankato, served as the committee chairman.

“I think we have two great candidates who have a skill set that will meet the area needs,” SMSU interim President Ron Wood said. “Dr. Rosati, he has a strong agricultural background, and Dr. Gores, she has a strong student life and development background.”

Since 2007, Gores has served as vice president for student life and development at Winona State University. Since the summer of 2012, Gores has also served as interim president at WSU.

Prior to her work at WSU, Gores was a project director and onsite consultant at Longwood University from 2006-2007; vice president for enrollment at Randolph-Macon Woman’s College from 1996-2006; dean of enrollment and student affairs and director of admissions and financial aid at Cornish College of the Arts; director of admissions and placement at Willamette University College of Law; and co-coordinator of new student programs/admissions counselor at Portland State University.

Gores earned a bachelor’s degree in sociology from North Dakota State University, a master’s degree in college student personnel administration from Colorado State University and a doctorate in educational leadership and policy studies, higher education administration from the University of Washington.

Since 2010, Rosati has been the provost of Southeast Missouri State University. Previously, Rosati served in various capacities, including provost, officer-in-charge and vice president for academic affairs, at the State University of New York Alfred State College from 2006-2010; in various capacities, including dean and assistant vice chancellor, at Texas A&M University-Kingsville from 1996-2006. He has served on the faculty of Texas A&M University-Kingsville, Illinois State University, Ohio State University Agricultural Technical Institute and Iowa State University.

Rosati has an associate degree in agronomy from Farmingdale Agricultural and Technical College, a bachelor’s degree and a master’s degree in agricultural education from Cornell University and a doctorate in agricultural education from Iowa State University.

SMSU is part of the MnSCU system, which includes 24 two-year community and technical colleges and seven state universities serving more than 420,000 students. It is the fifth-largest higher education system of its kind in the country.

“There was a good size pool of candidates,” Wood said. “I think there were several names sent forward, and chancellor (Steven Rosenstone) selected the two candidates. So we’re moving along nicely in the process.”

Both candidates are scheduled for campus visits next week, which provides an opportunity for faculty, staff, students and community members to meet and offer feedback on each of the candidates.

Rosati’s visit to the SMSU campus will take place on Jan. 30, while Gores’ visit to the campus will take place Feb. 1.

The MnSCU Board of Trustees is expected to act on Chancellor Rosenstone’s recommendation on a final candidate at its Feb. 26 meeting.

Wood has served as interim president at SMSU since April 2011, taking over for David Danahar, who retired. Wood’s last day at SMSU is June 30. The new president is expected to begin July 1.

Interview schedule

Jan. 30-Feb. 1

8:30-9:30 a.m. – Campus tour

9:30-10:15 a.m. – Meeting with president’s cabinet, Student Center 207

10:15-10:45 a.m. – Press and photo, Student Center 207

10:45-11:45 a.m. – Classified employee open session (AFSCME, MMA, MAPE, Commissioner’s and Managerial Plan), Lower Level Conference Center

12:30-1:30 pm. – Faculty open session, Lower Level Conference Center

1:30- 2:30 p.m. – Student open session, Lower Level Conference Center

2:45-3:45 p.m. – MSUAASF open session, Lower Level Conference Center

4-5 p.m. – Foundation members, alumni and MARL, Lower Level Conference Center

5:15-6:30 p.m. – Community reception, Lower Level Conference Center