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'The happiest day' for MnSCU board

Posted by: Jenna Ross Updated: May 17, 2012 - 10:45 AM

The folks in charge of the Minnesota State Colleges and Universities system were downright ebullient Wednesday.

Trustee Cheryl Dickson called it "the happiest day I have ever served on this board."

"This day is going to be remembered as one of the finest days in MnSCU leadership that we’ve seen in a long, long time," she continued.

Why all the fuss? The Board of Trustees had just appointed two new presidents: Scott R. Olson as president of Winona State University and Peggy Kennedy as president of Minnesota State Community and Technical College.

Olson has served as provost and vice president for academic and student affairs at Minnesota State University, Mankato. But the trustees knew him best from his interim job as the system's vice chancellor for academic and student affairs.

"To say that he was one of our favorites, everybody knows that that’s true," said Trustee Christine Rice. "He brought his enormous passion and talents and dedication to that job."

Kennedy had been interim president of Minnesota State Community and Technical College, a collection of campuses known simply as M State. Dickson noted that Kennedy "emerged as the favorite when she wasn’t even a candidate," initially.

The board repeatedly praised the fact that these two new presidents were already MnSCU employees.

"It’s exciting to have such a pool of talent within the system that we can pull forward," said Trustee James Van Houten.

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