Posted: August 7, 1996

Contact: Doug Anderson,, 651-201-1426

Lee R. Kerschner, a longtime senior administrator with the California State University system, today was named to the new position of executive vice chancellor/chief operating officer for Minnesota State Colleges and Universities (MnSCU).

His appointment was recommended by Chancellor Judith Eaton and approved unanimously by the MnSCU Board of Trustees. He will begin his new duties on September 3.

"Dr. Kerschner is one of the most skilled and highly respected higher administration executives in the country," Eaton said. "He will bring a wealth of experience, administrative talent and enthusiasm to this important new position."

Kerschner said he became interested in the post because he regards MnSCU as "the most exciting thing happening in higher education in the country today.

"It is exciting from several points of view -- as a new approach to governance in higher education, as a way for students to move more easily among the colleges and universities, and as an opportunity to enhance access to higher education for the people of Minnesota," he said. Kerschner will be responsible to the chancellor for the day-to-day operation of key areas in the MnSCU system office, including academic and student affairs, budget, personnel and labor relations, and the office of diversity.

The position was created as part of a system office reorganization and downsizing that will reduce the number of employees by approximately 100 positions, or 50 percent, and structure the office around four key areas: policy development, government liaison and public advocacy, strategic planning and budget.

Kerschner has served as special assistant to the chancellor of the California State University system since 1994, responsible for relations with the California Constitution Revision Commission, a blue ribbon body of lay citizens established to throughly review and propose changes to the California Constitution. He also serves as chair of the California Maritime Academy Transition Team as a member of the California Student Aid Commission. From 1992 to 1994 he served as interim president of California State University, Stanislaus.

His 35-year career in higher education also includes positions as senior vice chancellor for academic affairs in the California State University Chancellor's Office (1987 to 1992); executive director of the California Commission for the Review of the Master Plan for Higher Education (1985 to 1987); executive director of the National Association of Trade and Technical Schools and executive secretary of its Accrediting Commission (1983 to 1985); executive director of the Colorado Commission on Higher Education (1977 to 1983); and positions with the California State University from 1961 to 1977, including faculty member in political science, statewide dean of faculty and increasingly responsible positions culminating in appointment as vice chancellor for administrative affairs.

Kerschner holds a Ph.D. in political science from Georgetown University, an M.A. in international relations from The John Hopkins University and a B.A. in political science from Rutgers University.

MnSCU, a system of community colleges, technical colleges and state universities, serves more than 151,000 students at 38 institutions in 46 communities around the state.