Dr. Kumara Jayasuriya has been named the 10th president of Southwest Minnesota State University, effective July 1. He will succeed Dr. Connie Gores, who has been president since 2013 and has announced her plans to retire.
Jayasuriya currently is the provost and vice president of academic affairs and professor of mathematics at West Virginia State University (WVSU).
While at WVSU, he helped establish international partnerships with Ningbo University of Technology in China, which enrolls around 100 new students to WVSU each year.
He also worked to create a program that allows high school students to complete their first year of college, resulting in more than three times the number of dual-credit students served before the program’s launch.
“Dr. Jayasuriya has the academic credentials, the experience, and the leadership skills required to guide Southwest Minnesota State University into the future,” said Minnesota State University Chancellor Devinder Malhotra. “He also has the personal traits that will allow him to not only identify the tasks ahead, but also to work in a collaborative, authentic, and transparent manner to bring about a shared responsibility among each and every member of the Southwest community and take the university to the next level.”
Jayasuriya earned a bachelor’s degree from the University of Colombo, a master’s degree from Southern Illinois University and a doctorate degree from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee.