Three finalists have been named for the top job of chancellor at the Minnesota State Colleges and Universities system.
The finalists announced Thursday include Neal Cohen, a former airline executive who was once president of Laureate Education, an international network of for-profit colleges that includes Walden University in Minneapolis.
The others are Dr. Ricardo Azziz, a physician and chief academic health officer for the State University of New York; and Van Ton-Quinlivan, executive vice chancellor for California Community Colleges.
All three finalists are scheduled to meet with the board of trustees and other officials next week, and with employees and students at an open forum on Wednesday. The new chancellor will lead the Minnesota State system of 30 two-year colleges and seven universities.
Azziz was previously president of Georgia Regents University (now Augusta University), and once served as assistant dean of the medical school at the University of California, Los Angeles.
Cohen most recently served as executive vice president and chief financial officer of ATK, (formerly Alliant Techsystems), an aerospace and defense company, from 2012 to 2015. He was also an executive vice president at Northwest Airlines and US Airways.
Ton-Quinlivan joined California’s community college system as vice chancellor for workforce and economic development in 2011. She previously worked as workforce director at Pacific Gas and Electric, and taught at De Anza College in Cupertino, Calif.
This is the second time the Minnesota State system has conducted a search for a permanent replacement for former chancellor Steven Rosenstone, who retired last summer. The first search a year ago resulted in three other finalists, but the board of trustees decided not to hire any of them and appointed Devinder Malhotra, a former university president, as interim chancellor this year.