Dear colleagues,

As I sit amid boxes in my office on my first day, I want you to know how excited I am to serve as the new chancellor of the Minnesota State Colleges and Universities. I am writing to share some initial thoughts and to ask for your help.

Over the past six months, I have crisscrossed Minnesota logging more than 4,000 miles to visit 24 colleges and universities from Austin to Thief River Falls, from Winona to Moorhead, and nearly every community in between. Over these months of listening and learning I have met with more than 1,000 faculty, staff and community leaders, and I have been inspired by their tremendous dedication to our students and to the communities we serve. I am energized and ready to join you in the work we do on behalf of the people of Minnesota.

As you know, this is a critical moment for higher education, for our state and for Minnesota State Colleges and Universities. You and your colleagues have responded to the challenges in remarkable ways, serving an ever-increasing number of students, expanding online courses, meeting the growing customized training needs of industry and working to increase the vitality of your communities. There are more challenges ahead that will require even greater innovation on our part, but I am convinced that we can take giant steps forward both to enhance the quality of the education we provide and increase the number of students we serve to enable Minnesota to meet its critical need for a substantially better educated workforce. I am also convinced that we can expand our already strong partnerships with businesses and communities, further increase the cost effectiveness of our operations, and continue to honor our commitment to serve all Minnesotans who seek a college education, need to update their skills or prepare for new careers.

One thing is clear to me: our work is more important than ever. As never before, students, families, businesses and communities across Minnesota are counting on us to deliver an even better education to more students (and to do so with less state support). I am confident we can succeed if we are willing to work together in new and creative ways. 

I see huge new opportunities that will stem from our ability to engage the remarkable talents residing in the faculty and staff at every one of our colleges and universities. My conversations with students, faculty, staff, presidents, trustees, business and community leaders have generated scores of ideas – ideas about ways to improve every facet of what we do – the quality of learning and student success; the effectiveness of our customized training programs; the efficiency of our operations and much more.

One of my jobs as chancellor is to create an environment that fosters bold, courageous and creative thinking so that the best ideas will bubble up from wherever they reside. And that’s where you come in. I need your help – there is still much for me to learn and understand. Please drop me a note at  [ chancellor ( at ) ] to share with me your most creative idea for seizing the opportunities that lie ahead. Over the next month, I will organize the suggestions, consult with the presidents and the cabinet as well as with student, faculty and staff leadership, and will share the most powerful ideas with the Board of Trustees at its September 20 retreat.

As you know, our colleges and universities play a crucial and unique role in our state. We develop Minnesota’s workforce; we are the key to Minnesota’s economic vitality; we serve communities and businesses across our state; we are the place of hope and opportunity for students and families across Minnesota from all walks of life.

As I embark on this new assignment, I do so with a tremendous sense of stewardship, energy, and passion for the work that lies ahead.

I look forward to working with you and look forward to meeting you as I continue my travels across our state. 

Best wishes,


Steven J. Rosenstone  

Last updated by admin : 2011-07-31 23:16:14