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Governor Dayton Makes Appointments to MnSCU Board of Trustees

August 21, 2014

ST. PAUL, MN – Today, Governor Mark Dayton announced the appointments of six individuals to fill vacancies on the Minnesota State Colleges and Universities Board of Trustees. The 15-member Board is responsible for governing MnSCU’s system planning, academic programs, fiscal management, personnel, admissions requirements, tuition and fees, and rules and regulations.
 
“This is an outstanding group of Minnesota leaders who will help guide the future of MnSCU, and ensure its students receive world-class educations,” said Governor Dayton. “I expect these new members, and the entire Board, to enhance transparency and accountability in the governance and operations of the MnSCU system, and build upon progress which has been achieved.”
 
Today’s appointments include:
 
Kelly Charpentier-Berg – Coon Rapids, MN
Effective: August 21, 2014
Term Expires: June 30, 2016
Kelly Charpentier-Berg is a student studying psychology at Anoka Technical College and Metro State University. She has served as President of the Minnesota State College Student Association, and as a member of Anoka Technical College’s student body.
 
Jay Cowles – St. Paul, MN
Effective: August 21, 2014
Term Expires: June 30, 2020
Jay Cowles serves as managing director of Lawrence Creek, LLC, a private investment company, and as President of Unity Avenue Associates, LLC. He has served as chair of the Saint Paul foundation and the Minnesota Community Foundation, and was a founding member of the Itasca Project. Cowles currently serves as a member of the Minneapolis Downtown Council, Minneapolis Regional Chamber of Commerce, Saint Paul Public Schools Foundation, North Side Achievement Zone Board, and other civic organizations. He is a graduate of Harvard University and the Harvard University Business School.
 
Robert Hoffman – Waseca, MN
Effective: August 21, 2014
Term Expires: June 30, 2020
Robert Hoffman recently retired as Vice President of Strategic Business, Education and Regional Partnerships for Minnesota State University, Mankato. Hoffman previously served as Vice President at Brown Printing and as Vice President of Taylor Corporation. He was an English teacher and coach in Redwood Falls, and principal of Wanamingo High School. Hoffman was previously a member of the MnSCU Board of Trustees, and served two years as chair. He currently serves on the Ecumen Board of Directors, the Greater Minnesota Partnership Board, the Southern Minnesota Initiative Foundation Board of Trustees, and the Greater Mankato Growth Board of Directors. Hoffman earned his undergraduate and Master’s degrees at Minnesota State University, Mankato, and a Doctorate in Education at Utah State University.
 
Maleah Otterson – Chanhassen, MN
Effective: August 21, 2014
Term Expires: June 30, 2016
Maleah Otterson is a student at Normandale Community College. Otterson currently serves as a Minnesota State College Student Association Representative on MnSCU’s Campus Service Cooperative. She has also served on the Normandale Student Life Budget Committee and Normandale Shared Governance Facilities Committee. Otterson has also been active in student government, serving as a member of the Normandale Community College Student Senate, and as the Student Senate’s Executive Legislative Director – a role in which she trained and encouraged members of the student body to interact with elected officials.
 
Louise Sundin – Minneapolis, MN
Effective: August 21, 2014
Term Expires: June 30, 2020
Louise Sundin was appointed to the MnSCU Board of Trustees by Governor Tim Pawlenty in 2008. She is continuing her service on the board with this reappointment. Sundin is Executive Vice President of the Minneapolis Regional Labor Federation, AFL-CIO. She also serves on the Minnesota Board of School Administrators. A career ninth-grade English teacher in Minneapolis, Sundin served 25 years as a national Vice President of the American Federation of Teachers and 22 years as President of the Minneapolis Federation of Teachers Local 59. She is a founding member of the Teacher Union Reform Network. Sundin earned her undergraduate degree at the University of Minnesota, and a Master’s degree in Curriculum and Instruction at the University of St. Thomas.
 
Erma Vizenor – White Earth Nation
Effective: August 21, 2014
Term Expires: June 30, 2020
Erma Vizenor was elected Chairwoman of the White Earth Reservation in 2004. Chairwoman Vizenor has worked her entire career in education on the White Earth Reservation. She holds an undergraduate degree in Elementary Education; a Master’s degree in Guidance and Counseling; and a specialist degree in Education Administration from Minnesota State University Moorhead. As a Bush Leadership Fellow, Chairwoman Vizenor earned a Master’s degree in Community Decision-Making and Lifelong Learning, and a doctoral degree in Administration, Planning, and Social Policy from Harvard University.