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Minnesota State chancellor earns extension through July 2023

Devinder Malhotra, chancellor of Minnesota State, talks in Granite Falls, Minn., in 2018. Erica Dischino / Forum News Service

ST. PAUL - The head of Minnesota’s largest higher-education system has agreed to a two-year contract extension that will keep him on the job through July 2023.

Minnesota State Chancellor Devinder Malhotra took over for the retiring Steven Rosenstone on an interim basis in 2017 after a failed search for a permanent chancellor.

The Board of Trustees dropped the interim label after a second fruitless search a year later.

Malhotra, 71, previously a St. Cloud University provost and interim president at Metropolitan State University, joked Wednesday that he’s been a “complete failure at retirement.”

The Board of Trustees voted unanimously to authorize chairman Michael Vekich to negotiate a two-year contract extension with Malhotra.

Vekich said Malhotra has worked to build trust with faculty; encouraged open communication among trustees and school presidents; renewed the system’s focus on student success; and reaffirmed its commitment to equity, diversity and inclusion.

“Has proven himself in this position to be a gifted, inspirational and effective leader,” Vekich said.

As chancellor, Malhotra has toured the state to promote relationships with local employers and held a series of forums he described as “crowdsourcing ideas to reimagine Minnesota State.”