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Amy Dalrymple, Forum News Service, Published February 01 2011

Two finalists for MnSCU chancellor move forward

A University of Minnesota vice president and Utah’s higher education commissioner have been named finalists for chancellor of the Minnesota State Colleges and Universities system.

The MnSCU board of trustees voted unanimously Monday to forward the names of Steven Rosenstone, the U of M’s vice president for scholarly and cultural affairs, and William Sederburg, who leads the Utah System of Higher Education.

A search committee had recommended four candidates and one alternate to the board of trustees, said Scott Thiss, chairman of the board. Three of those candidates withdrew from the search prior to Monday’s meeting.

Trustee James Van Houten said he was initially concerned when he heard some candidates withdrew, but was no longer worried after seeing the caliber of the remaining candidates.

Rosenstone, a political science professor, began working at the U of M in 1996 as dean of the College of Liberal Arts.

Sederburg, a Minnesota native, served as president of Utah Valley University from 2003 to 2008, when he began his current job.

“I believe we have two of the outstanding candidates in the entire pool,” Thiss said.

The board plans to interview the finalists before naming a chancellor Wednesday. The search committee considered 46 applicants and interviewed 11 of them.

Cindy Phillips, president of the MSUM chapter of the faculty union, said she’s glad to see that both finalists have strong academic backgrounds.

“Personally, I’m dismayed that so many people won’t let their names go forward when they’re still just a candidate. I think that’s too bad,” Phillips said. “But on the face of it, these both look like good, strong candidates.”

The salary range for the chancellor is $270,000 to $390,000, not including performance incentives.

Chancellor James McCormick, who retires in July, earns $360,000 and is eligible for performance incentives up to $50,000.

The MnSCU system consists of 32 state universities and community and technical colleges, including MSUM and Minnesota State Community and Technical College.

Readers can reach Forum reporter Amy Dalrymple at (701) 241-5590