Posted: April 16, 2008

Contact: Doug Anderson,, 651-201-1426

Sue K. Hammersmith was appointed today as president of Metropolitan State University by the Minnesota State Colleges and Universities Board of Trustees.

Hammersmith, 59, is provost and vice chancellor for academic affairs at the University of Wisconsin – Green Bay, a post she has held since 2002. She also is a professor of social change and development and sociology at the university. Her appointment was recommended by Chancellor James H. McCormick.

Previously, Hammersmith was dean of the College of Arts and Sciences at Ferris State University, with several campuses in west central Michigan; dean of University College at Ball State University at Muncie, Ind.; and assistant dean of the School of Liberal Arts at Indiana University-Purdue University at Indianapolis.

She holds a doctorate and a master's degree, both in sociology, and a bachelor's degree in anthropology, all from Indiana University.

"Dr. Hammersmith has a long and abiding commitment to adult learners," McCormick said. "That commitment, combined with her experience and interest in developing strong partnerships, should serve this vibrant university very well."

Ruth Grendahl, vice chair of the Board of Trustees and chair of the board’s Human Resources Committee, said, “It’s a very long, comprehensive presidential search process to get where we are today, and I am very pleased with the outcome.” Hammersmith was one of two presidents appointed today by the board. Edna Mora Szymanski, senior vice president for academic affairs and provost at the University of Maine, Orono, was appointed president of Minnesota State University Moorhead.

Hammersmith will replace William Lowe, who has been serving as interim president since former president Wilson Bradshaw resigned in October to take a position in Florida. Lowe will return to his previous position as provost and vice president when Hammersmith’s appointment becomes effective July 1.

Hammersmith said, “Metropolitan State is a university that has been known to me for over two decades as a pioneer in higher education. I hope to move it forward to the next level of excellence in this wonderful metropolitan area.

Metropolitan State University, which has campuses in St. Paul and Minneapolis and serves more than 9,000 students in credit courses annually, provides a wide array of undergraduate and graduate programs.