by ALEXANDRA RETTER
A new president will assume office this summer at Minnesota State College Southeast (MSC Southeast). Beginning July 1, Dr. Marsha Danielson will serve as president of MSC Southeast. She brings a quarter century of experience working at Minnesota State colleges and universities.
The Board of Trustees of Minnesota State recently appointed Danielson. “I’m thrilled to be joining the team at Minnesota State College Southeast as we continue to build on the rich history and tradition of college employees who know their students by name,” Danielson said during the meeting at which trustees appointed her. “The Minnesota State College Southeast student-ready culture of caring and putting the needs of students first is exactly the type of learning enterprise that I aspire to lead, a place where our communities seek us out as the partner of choice to enhance the quality of life and the economic vitality of the region.”
Danielson said she is inspired by the dedication and entrepreneurship of MSC Southeast faculty, staff and administrators. She also said she is motivated by the support MSC Southeast receives from business and industry, as well as the Winona and Red Wing, Minn., communities. “I have heard so many positive things about the collaborative partnerships [MSC Southeast] Interim President Dr. Larry Lundblad started, and I am eager to continue the focus on student success and the collective impact of working with business and industry, public and private secondary schools and other colleges and universities,” she said.
Minnesota State Chancellor Devinder Malhotra said Danielson has fostered strong connections with local businesses throughout her career. “Such partnerships will benefit MSC Southeast and its students tremendously,” he said. Danielson understands the goals of the Winona and Red Wing communities, he continued. “[She] is ready to work with them to meet the workforce needs of their communities and serve as a catalyst for their economic well-being,” Malhotra said.
MSC Southeast Vice President of Student Affairs Josiah Litant agreed that Danielson will bring passion and expertise regarding partnerships with business and industry. “So we’re excited to benefit from her vision,” he said.
Throughout the process of searching for the next president, Litant thought Danielson was “a very impressive candidate.” “Her campus visit was thorough and thoughtful,” he said. “She’s really demonstrated a depth of experience and a real expertise for community and technical colleges like ours.”
Other candidates included Lisa Jones Copprue, who was vice president, student development/enrollment from 2017 to 2020 at Dallas College Cedar Valley Campus; Chad Dull, who has served as MSC Southeast’s vice president of academic affairs since 2019; and Sandra Kiddoo, whom the board of trustees appointed as the next president of Northland Community and Technical College.
MSC Southeast faculty and staff said in feedback during the search process that Danielson is “engaging, knowledgeable and passionate,” Malhotra said. “She is willing to listen, promotes innovation and prioritizes equity, student success and relationships, both on and off campus,” he said.
Danielson cares deeply about student success, Litant said. “So her obvious passion for that, it’s a great fit for Southeast, and I think will be really important in continuing to move us ahead,” he said.
Danielson has served South Central College (SCC) in Faribault and North Mankato, Minn., as vice president of economic development since 2016. From 2013 to 2016, she was senior associate to the president at SCC. She served as SCC’s dean of economic development from 2007 to 2013. Prior to her time at SCC, she worked at Minnesota State University, Mankato, from 1996 to 2007.
“Dr. Danielson is an energetic, innovative and transparent leader who can provide [MSC Southeast] the leadership it needs to move it to the next level,” Malhotra said.