Winona State University's Newspaper since 1919

The Winonan

Winona State University's Newspaper since 1919

The Winonan

Winona State University's Newspaper since 1919

The Winonan


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Finalists for the Next President: Student and Faculties Thoughts

Karleigh Johnson
As interim president Kenneth Janz starts to get use to his office over the last semester, Winona State University is still on the search for a president.

Our previous president Scott Olson began his new role as Chancellor of the Minnesota State System on August 1st of 2023, and since then Kenneth Janz has served as interim president. Ever since this change in leadership at Winona State University, there has been a thorough presidential search occurring in hopes to determine a strong candidate to properly fill the role.

Several of the search committee members were emailed, to which many of the responses explained that those directly involved are unable to discuss the process. More information will, however, be announced next month.

“About all I can share with you is that the search is moving forward,” explained Patricia Malotka, a faculty member of the presidential search committee.

The 13 individuals on the search committee consist of faculty and staff, one student, and several community members, along with the assistance of an executive search firm for additional support.

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The search committee is currently working alongside interim president Kenneth Janz, and together they control the direction of the search.

The role of being president at any university in the United States is not something to be taken lightly, as we have seen a concerning trend of many resigning or being let go, for assorted reasons. The search committee is seeking a strong candidate whose values align with Winona State’s mission and hope for the future.

Throughout the presidential search process, Doug Anderson has handled communication for news and media updates.

“The university is seeking a dynamic and visionary president with the experience and passion to lead a strong institution into its next phase of growth and success,” Anderson said.

Anderson continued to explain that the committee is in search for someone with strong leadership skills, visions that line up with the future of Winona State, great collaboration with both private and public partnerships, with a particular focus on the wellbeing of students.

I heard the perspective from several students on the topic, and although many are unaware of the search currently being conducted, they are eager for the potential that new leadership holds.

Jaanika Rosenthal is a fourth-year student at Winona State, and as far as appointing a new leader, she hopes to truly put a face to the name.

“I want someone who is like, at events. We know their name; we know their face,” Rosenthal said. “So, like someone we know, dead center like that is the president. Someone who is out and about in the community? Perfect.”

Anna Hipp is a current student at Winona State, and she will be graduating in December. Although Hipp does not have much time left on campus, she hopes for someone who will lower the price of textbooks and give the Winona campus some snow days in addition to Rochester.

Another student, Dylan Alzate, is hoping for a leader who focuses on the welfare of students, and one who is not afraid to address tough social issues. When asked for what qualities would be best in a new leader, Alzate’s response was centered around community.

“I see plenty of people from different sides. Like some people do not feel welcome. Some people have spread rumors about them, and they are harassed,” Alzate said. “So, I feel like if we have a president that takes charge on what we really look for, and kind of like know, that’s one of many things I’m sure but one of the things.”

Although no presidential candidate has officially been declared, students can continue to watch out for more information regarding the presidential search, as announcements will come next month.

“Campus and system office visits for the finalists are planned for the week of February 12, and we plan to issue a press release a few days in advance to announce the finalists and the schedule for the visits,” Anderson said. “We have every confidence that this search will identify a dynamic and visionary president with the experience and passion needed to lead this strong institution into the next phase of its growth and success.”

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About the Contributor
Karleigh Johnson
Karleigh Johnson, News Reporter
Karleigh Johnson (she/her/hers) is a reporter for the Winonan as of fall 2023. She started off at North Hennepin Community College and transferred to Winona State University in her third year to Major in Creative Digital Media and Minor in both Film Studies and Spanish. 
After attending Nuevas Fronteras Spanish Immersion, Karleigh continues to have a passion for the Spanish language and culture. She studied in Spain through Winona State University in May of 2023. Karleigh enjoys travel, art, writing, photography and videomaking. 
Karleigh participated in the Disney College Program in Spring 2022 and became a Disney Trainer. After graduation, she hopes to return to Disney by working for one of the many media and entertainment companies Disney owns. Her dream is to write her own television show inspired by comedic styles of The Office, Parks and Recreation, Arrested Development, and many others.

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