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Four Finalists Named for St. Cloud State University Presidency

Two African-Americans, are among the four finalists under consideration to become the next president of St. Cloud State University in Minnesota.

The position has been vacant since Dr. Earl H. Potter, III was killed in a car crash in June 2016. Dr. Ashish Vaidya has served as the interim president, but has been tapped to become president of Northern Kentucky University and is expected to step down from the post next month.

Dr. Brian JohnsonDr. Brian Johnson

The finalists will visit the campus and the new president is expected to be announced in May.

Among the individuals being considered for the position is Dr. Brian Johnson, who served as president of Tuskegee University from 2014-2017. Johnson, an expert on W.E.B. Du Bois, also has held various administrative positions at Austin Peay State University from 2010-2014.

Dr. Dione Somerville, the other African-American finalist, is vice president for student affairs at Bloomsburg University. She previously served as dean of students from 2007 to 2011 at Iowa State University.

Dr. Daniel Shipp is the vice chancellor for student success and dean of students at the University of Nebraska Omaha, a position he has held since 2012. Previously, he served at the University of the Pacific as associate Vice President for student life from 2006 to 2012.

The fourth finalist is Dr. Robbyn Wacker, a tenured professor who served as the dean of the College of Health and Human Sciences at the University of Northern Colorado from 1996 to 2005.

“The next president of St. Cloud State University will lead us through our 150th anniversary, the launch of our University Foundation’s Comprehensive Campaign and the continuation of a brand marketing strategy,” according to a statement by the search committee. “We pride ourself on our partnerships and our close relationships with the city and with the Central Minnesota region St. Cloud State calls home. We are looking for a president who will engage with our partners to take these relationships one step further.”

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