The University of Delhi grad has been serving as the interim chancellor since last August.
Indian American Devinder Malhotra was named chancellor of the Minnesota State Colleges and Universities on Friday.
The appointment of Malhotra, who has been serving as the interim chancellor since August 2017, came after an extensive nationwide search for a new chancellor failed to produce a candidate agreeable to the board of trustees.
The Minnesota State system, one of the largest public university systems in the United States, consists of seven public state universities and 30 community and technical colleges. Roughly 400,000 students are enrolled at the schools, making it the fourth-largest system of two-year colleges and four-year universities in the nation.
Malhotra was named interim chancellor last year after a similar search failed to identify the right candidate.
“I look forward to continuing to build on the great work of @MinnStateEdu faculty and staff in our shared commitment to student success,” the University of Delhi economics graduate tweeted on Friday.
The 70-year-old Malhotra’s appointment is for three years. “I guess I failed retirement,” he told the local Pioneer Press. “I’m having too much fun.”
“He has performed brilliantly as interim chancellor,” board chairman Michael Vekich was quoted as saying by the Press. “He has never been a mere placeholder.”
“Malhotra has accomplished much during his service as interim chancellor,” Vekich told Post Bulletin. “He has deepened the relationship between Minnesota State and both the bargaining units and the student associations. He has brought a laser focus to student success.”
Prior to becoming the interim chancellor at Minnesota State, Malhotra served as the Interim President of Metropolitan State University from 2014 to 2016. From 2009 to 2014, he was the provost and vice president of academic affairs at St. Cloud State University.
Malhotra’s appointment was welcomed by Minnesota State’s faculty union leaders.
“Best possible outcome,” Kevin Lindstrom, head of college faculty union, said. “He’s done a lot in the last few months to build the foundation for a lot of meaningful progress.”
Malhotra, who earned his PhD in economics from Kansas State University, in Manhattan, KS, is an expert on Indian economy. During his career as a professor, he published dozens of papers on a bevy of topic ranging from US manufacturing to inflation in Asian countries.
With his interim tag now removed, Malhotra joins a number of Indian Americans to serve as president or chancellor of a US university. Others Indian American university leaders include Renu Khator, who is the chancellor of the University of Houston System and president of the University of Houston, and Ashish Vaidya, president of North Kentucky University.
Indian American Ashish Vaidya named president of North Kentucky University (November 23, 2017)