Posted: December 5, 2000

Contact: Doug Anderson,, 651-201-1426

James H. McCormick

James McCormick, chancellor of Pennsylvania's State System of Higher Education, was selected Tuesday as the next chancellor of the Minnesota State Colleges and Universities in a unanimous vote by the Board of Trustees.

"I am extremely pleased that we have found a leader who will bring people together to develop a vision for the system and articulate it well, a person who has high energy and creativity," said Michael Vekich, chair of the MnSCU Board of Trustees. Vekich noted that McCormick had flown into the state Friday and in two days had visited 24 of the MnSCU system campuses before the final interviews were conducted.

McCormick told the board he could begin July 1. He will succeed Morris Anderson as chancellor of the 35-institution system with an enrollment of 153,000.

"I am excited, indeed gratified, to be given the opportunity to lead the Minnesota State Colleges and Universities," McCormick said. "I look forward to the tremendous challenges that lie ahead, but I am realistically sobered by them, too. I will need to be vigorous in my actions and draw upon all of my experiences in higher education to provide the best leadership possible for the people of Minnesota."

McCormick, 62, has been chancellor of the State System of Higher Education for the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania since the system was created in 1983. The Pennsylvania system is similar in scope to the Minnesota State Colleges and Universities with 14 universities, 95,000 students, four two-year branch campuses and an annual operating budget of $1 billion.

McCormick was president for Bloomsburg University of Pennsylvania in Bloomsburg from 1973 to 1983 and served as a professor and administrator for Shippensburg University of Pennsylvania for the previous eight years. Prior to this, he worked as an assistant superintendent, high school administrator and teacher in Pennsylvania public schools.

McCormick earned a bachelor's degree from Indiana University of Pennsylvania in Indiana, Pennsylvania. He holds a master's of education and a doctorate in education administration from the University of Pittsburgh.

"I am very honored," McCormick said. "I will seek to create an environment across the Minnesota State Colleges and Universities system where talented people can work together and feel empowered to create a unified organization, remembering that we must always be accountable to the citizens."

After being named, McCormick told the MnSCU Board of Trustees, the campus presidents and staff he will work to make a smooth transition. "We'll do everything we know how to do to serve the people of Minnesota and the campuses well," he said.