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Winona State University's Newspaper since 1919

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Hello and Goodbye: A Familiar Face Steps up as University President

Karalyn Kolstad
Winona State University welcomes Kenneth Janz as President. He was appointed the 16th president for the school on March 20th, 2024. An event took place to welcome Janz for the Winona and Rochester campuses.

Winona State University welcomes Kenneth Janz as President. He was appointed the 16th president for the school on March 20th, 2024. An event took place to welcome Janz for the Winona and Rochester campuses.

Winona State University held an event on the 21st in the Kryzsko Ballroom where a short program was designated to Kenneth Janz, which was about an hour long. This was followed by a meet and greet with Janz himself.

Kenneth Janz was further welcomed by Winona State’s Music Faculty as they had provided entertainment during the event. Rochester’s Campus also held an hour-long program in order to welcome President Janz to our community.

Former President, Chancellor Scott Olson, has overseen Winona State University as president since 2012. Although he has just been admitted as President, Janz has worked with Winona State for years, working as associate vice president for Academic Affairs and CIO from 2008 to 2023. He also served as dean of the library since 2015. Nicole Braun, a freshman at Winona State shares some skills and qualities she hopes to see in the new president.

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“I hope for someone who administers to faculty well, and someone who is thoroughly involved in all aspects of college life,” Braun said.

Janz brings his previous knowledge and experience from Indiana State University, where he served as the Director of the Center of Instruction, Research, and Technology for five years before coming to Winona State University. At the start of the program held on March 21st, the 15th President of Winona State, Chancellor Scott Olson, introduced Kenneth Janz.

“I will report to you that over the last year, without question, the hardest working President was Ken Janz,” Olson said. “Sometimes you have to tell him to go home because he works so hard on behalf of this place.”

When Janz comes up to the stage, he welcomes and thanks everyone for supporting his introduction into being the 16th President of Winona State University. He goes on to describe the projects and goals being worked on within the University.

“We are going to have a long-range vision of where we want to be in 2035. Our student life planning has been great, and clarifying some of our work around student success promises has been important,” Janz said. “Updating reviewing title nine support which has been equally in need on this campus.”

Janz continues to describe some of the projects that he will work on in the next ten years of being President, while also mentioning that the current projects were being worked on while facing a seven million dollar-based budget reduction.

After his speech, Janz was asked what he would say to faculty, students and staff if he could tell them one thing.

“We want to double down on our mission statement of being a community of learners. We want to create a sense of belonging and find ways to involve people. I think that’s important for us, and I see that being our future,” Janz said.

Dr. Kenneth Janz has been the interim president at Winona State since Aug. 2023 where he has been providing his practice and skills in order to become a leader on campus. In an interview with Scott Ellinghuysen, the Vice President of Finance and Administration, and part of the president’s cabinet, Ellinghuysen shares what he hopes Janz will bring forth as a new leader.

“I hope for him to share his leadership for the institution as well as making bold and tough decisions is important,” Ellinghuysen said.

As a part of working toward the position as president, Janz has a bachelor’s degree from Dickinson State University, a doctorate from Indiana State University, and a master’s from North Dakota State University. All of this hard work and dedication has paid off in the long run for Janz, as he is now confidently welcomed as the new leader of Winona State. During his speech, Janz speaks about the importance of Winona’s symbol.

“Winona State, we are going to build a brighter future. Because when you look at the flaming W, you take the torch, light the way, and build a better future. I think it fits so much with our community because together, we have lots of torches and a lot of light to create a better future,” Janz said.

Janz continues to speak about Winona State University’s mission statement.

“We are a community of learners, improving our world. And, when we do things together, we can improve a lot of things. I want us to continue our mission and continue moving forward,” Janz said.

During the event on Winona’s campus which was held on March 21st, faculty, staff, and students came to offer their support to the new president. Food and beverages were offered to everyone who attended the event. The Senior Director of Marketing Communication, Andrea Northam, welcomed Dr. Kenneth Janz during the event.

Northam shares her thoughts on Janz becoming the new president.

“I worked with Dr. Janz for many years, and I feel like his strategic vision and the way he approaches work analytically is really valuable for where Winona State is in terms of a number of issues,” Northam said.

She continues to share how, although Winona State is facing challenges, Dr. Janz’ pragmatism will be a very valuable asset for the University right now. On average, a university’s president’s term lasts around 5.9 years. We hope that President Kenneth Janz lasts many years past that as we see a bright future for him and for our university.

Eliajah Randle, another freshman at Winona State University, was interviewed and shared his excitement for our new president.

“I hope to see a brighter future for the advancement of our athletics. I would also love to look into the planning of a new stadium within the next three years,” Randle said. “Over the last few years, we have seen many improvements to our athletics, and I cannot wait to see what is to come with our new president.”

Students, faculty, and staff are anxious to see what Dr. Kenneth Janz will bring to Winona State University as our 16th president.

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About the Contributors
Lilia Barrett
Lilia Barrett, News Reporter
Lilia Barrett is a Photographer and News Reporter for The Winonan and started in Spring 2024. Barrett is a first year at Winona State University majoring in Nursing and minoring in Child Advocacy Studies. In addition to working for the Winonan, Barrett is also involved in various clubs throughout campus and enjoys volunteering at nearby food shelves in Winona.  Outside of school, Barrett is a Water Safety Instructor (WSI) where she teaches children, ages 1-14, how to swim. Her favorite hobby is to go on walks with friends around cities, parks, lakes, et cetera. Barrett enjoys road trips with family, her favorite being a trip to Colorado Springs a few summers ago. 
Karalyn Kolstad
Karalyn Kolstad, Photographer
Karalyn Kolstad (she/her/hers) is a photographer for The Winonan. This is Karalyn's first semester with The Winonan. She is a third-year student at Winona State University majoring in Medical Laboratory Science. She is also the secretary of the Biology Club on campus. Outside of school, Karalyn enjoys hanging out with friends and family, watching movies and reading. 

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