Posted: April 16, 2008

Contact: Doug Anderson,, 651-201-1426

Edna Mora Szymanski was appointed president of Minnesota State University Moorhead today by the Minnesota State Colleges and Universities Board of Trustees.

Szymanski, 56, is senior vice president for academic affairs and provost at the University of Maine, Orono, a position she has held since 2006. Her appointment was recommended by Chancellor James H. McCormick.

Previously, Szymanski was dean and professor in the College of Education at the University of Maryland, College Park. Before that, she held several positions at the University of Wisconsin - Madison, including chair of the Department of Rehabilitation Psychology and Special Education and associate dean of the College of Education.

Szymanski holds a doctorate in special education from the University of Texas, Austin; a master's degree in rehabilitation counseling from the University of Scranton in Pennsylvania; and a bachelor's degree in biology from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute in Troy, N.Y.

"Dr. Szymanski brings a wealth of experience from various other universities and a deep-seated enthusiasm for the community," McCormick said. "Under her leadership, she will be able to build upon the strong tradition of excellence at this university."

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." Szymanski was one of two presidents appointed today by the board. Sue K. Hammersmith, provost and vice chancellor for academic affairs at the University of Wisconsin-Green Bay, was appointed president of Metropolitan State University in St. Paul.

Szymanski will replace Roland Barden, who is retiring. Her appointment becomes effective July 1.

She said, "Minnesota State University Moorhead is a student-centered university in a wonderful community. This is a great honor and privilege for me. I happen to think this is one of the most forward-thinking higher education systems in the country."

Minnesota State University Moorhead serves more than 9,000 students in credit courses annually and provides a wide array of undergraduate and graduate programs.