Minnesota State Chancellor Devinder Malhotra to retire Fall 2023


Contributed photo of Devinder Malhotra.

Sierra Larson, News Reporter

On Oct. 14, Chancellor Devinder Malhotra announced his plans to retire at the end of his contract on Aug. 1, 2023. The reason for Malhotra’s imminent retirement comes down to personal considerations.

Malhotra has served as chancellor of the Minnesota State system since 2017.

The Minnesota State system is comprised of 26 colleges and seven universities. The system is presided over by a chancellor, aided by the Board of Trustees and countless staff and faculty members.

Before his time as Chancellor, Malhotra held various positions at Metropolitan State University, St. Cloud State University, the University of Southern Maine and the University of Akron.

Malhotra described how his experiences in administration at these universities contributed to his decision to take the position of chancellor.

“It was just a natural progression, a series of happy accidents,” Malhotra said.

Malhotra said his initial education, his teaching experience and his continued education since then all prepared him for the role of chancellor.

During Malhotra’s six years as chancellor, he has been able to accomplish many things.  One thing Malhotra commented on being particularly proud of in his retirement remarks was Equity 2030.

Winona State University President Scott Olson described how Equity 2030 was Malhotra’s answer for equity gaps in the Minnesota State system.

Equity 2030 is a commitment to eliminate educational equity gaps across race, ethnicity, economic status, family income or first-generation status of students, by 2030.

Through Equity 2030, the faculty, staff and leadership of colleges and universities in the Minnesota State system are committed to maximizing the success of all their students.

Malhotra did not only impact the students he served, but he also impacted the people he worked with, including President Olson.

Olson said he knows Malhotra very well. Both served as provosts of universities, and subsequently, as presidents of universities at the same time.

Olson described several of Malhotra’s qualities that are seen in his role as chancellor.

“He’s a brilliant guy. He’s very, very intelligent. He’s very disciplined and organized in his thinking. He’s a thoughtful, gentle leader who works beautifully well with the students,” Olson said.

Olson also described how students can learn something from Malhotra’s style of leadership.

“We can look at him and see how a thoughtful, self-deprecating and caring leader can bring us through tough times,” Olson said.

Olson noted how he admired the way Malhotra was always able to keep his cool and avoided panicking in tough life-or-death situations, like the pandemic.

Olson’s appreciation of Malhotra is mirrored in how Malhotra spoke about the people he works with and how they make being the chancellor very fulfilling.

“It has been very, very gratifying that we are all working together in individualizing and personalizing the educational experience of the students and providing what the students need in real time, so that they can succeed,” Malhotra said.

Malhotra described what he would say to students in the Minnesota State system.

“Prepare yourself in persisting and completing your educational journey to become the change agent for transforming the world for a better future and a better tomorrow,” Malhotra said.