New leaders were named Wednesday for Minnesota's second largest public university and a St. Paul community college.

The Minnesota State college system's board of trustees named Edward Inch president of Minnesota State University, Mankato and Deidra Peaslee president of St. Paul College.

Inch has served as provost and vice president for academic affairs at California State University, East Bay, since 2016; he focused on improving academic outcomes and closing equity gaps and developed a strategic enrollment management plan for the university.

He will start July 1, succeeding retiring President Richard Davenport, who led the Mankato university for 19 years. Inch will be just the fourth president to lead Minnesota State, Mankato since 1979.

"Dr. Inch has the academic credentials, experience, leadership skills, and vision required to guide Minnesota State University, Mankato into the future," Minnesota State system Chancellor Devinder Malhotra said.

Peaslee's appointment takes effect immediately. She has been serving as St. Paul College's interim president since July 2019. Before that, Peaslee was Anoka-Ramsey Community College's vice president for academic and student affairs for eight years.

Malhotra praised Peaslee as a decisive and empathetic leader who has faced challenges with "grace and grit." Her leadership has kept St. Paul College stable through the COVID-19 pandemic and social unrest that rocked the Twin Cities following George Floyd's death, Malhotra said.

"Dr. Peaslee is the right leader at this juncture of the college's trajectory," Malhotra said.

Ryan Faircloth • 612-673-4234

Twitter: @ryanfaircloth