Posted: January 24, 2006

Contact: Doug Anderson,, 651-201-1426

The Minnesota State Colleges and Universities system has named its leadership development program in honor of Jim Luoma, a trustee emeritus of the system's board.

"Jim Luoma is the kind of visionary leader who truly made a difference during the formative years of this system," said Chancellor James H. McCormick. "His idea - to create a leadership program so the system can grow its talented faculty and staff - is now paying off. I'm delighted that we can recognize his outstanding contributions by establishing the Luoma Leadership Academy."

Luoma served as a trustee of the Minnesota State Colleges and Universities from 1999 to 2004. During that time, he consistently supported professional and educational development opportunities for faculty and staff. He served as board chair and vice chair, and as chair of the Educational Policy Committee.

Luoma spent his entire professional life in education, first as a teacher for the South Washington County School District, then as a principal in that district, and, finally, as superintendent for the Grand Rapids public schools.

Luoma earned his doctorate in education from the University of St. Thomas in St. Paul, a master's degree from Northern State College in Aberdeen, S.D., and a bachelor's degree from the University of Minnesota, Duluth. He and his wife, Carol, live in Cohasset, Minn.

William Tschida, the system's vice chancellor for human resources, said, "There is no doubt that the Luoma Leadership Academy will leave its mark for decades to come. I personally want to thank Jim Luoma for his steadfast support in developing the system's talented employees."

Begun in November 2004, the leadership program has had 104 faculty and staff participants. The first cohort completed its last session in November 2005. The second cohort will complete the program in August 2006. A third cohort starts in June 2006.

The leadership program is system wide for mid-level faculty or staff members who aspire to higher leadership positions. The academy helps participants develop leadership skills, gain an appreciation of different perspectives in the system and create a network of colleagues committed to transformational leadership.

The Office of the Chancellor contracts with The Chair Academy in Mesa, Ariz. to deliver the program. The curriculum has been proven and refined for more than 15 years nationally. Facilitators are current and former academic leaders in higher education.