Dr. Kenneth Janz was appointed the 16th president of Winona State University on March 20, 2024. Read his remarks to the Board of Trustees to learn what the next 10 years will look like at Winona State.

Winona State President Kenneth Janz.

“I am honored to be named the 16th president at Winona State University. I am humbled by the trust you place in me, and I am grateful for the opportunity to serve our students, faculty, and staff, and the greater Winona State community in both Winona and Rochester.

Over the last year, our Winona State University community has been making progress toward our institutional goals and laying the groundwork to move our university forward into a brighter future. We are developing a University Vision, made strides toward crafting an Online General Education Program Pathway, and instituted a process for Non-Academic Unit Benchmarking. We have elevated our Student Life Planning, initiated a dialogue about the Future of Work, and codified our Student Success Promise. We’ve aligned University Admissions and Marketing & Communication, are reviewing and enhancing our Title IX support, and invested in our internal communications processes—all while facing the reality of making $7 million in base budget reductions. Alongside our institutional goals, we have also advanced our Minnesota State system goals, with an eye toward Equity 2030, NextGen and the implementation of Workday, and Transfer Pathways.  These crucial investments in our shared future are in addition to the amazing work that our students, faculty, and staff contribute every single day.

In the coming year, our community will leverage what we learned while developing a University Vision to build a pathway to Winona State 2035. This pathway will lead our community of learners to a future in which Winona State University strives to be Minnesota’s preeminent student-centered academic community. We will support student growth and development by promoting intellectual inquiry, creative innovation, and responsible stewardship of knowledge. Winona State University will be a leader in academic excellence, equity, and community engagement, with a foundation built on sustaining high-impact practices around student success.

The future of Winona State University is also in the communities we serve. In the next year, we will work to enhance our symbiotic relationships within the greater Winona community, continuing to enrich the intellectual, social, cultural, and economic vitality of the people and communities we serve. Our pathway to Winona State 2035 will include a distinctive strategy for our Rochester campus, leveraging the community integration, academic programming, and student experiences and services that we offer across the southeastern Minnesota region.

Winona State University has a solid foundation and a long history of serving the State of Minnesota. We are a strong institution, and our current successes are just a starting point. At Winona State, we are building a brighter future. As we move forward, I make this request of our community of learners: when you see the flaming W of our Winona State University logo, let it remind you of that incredible power. Let it remind you of the light that we all carry within us, the light that we can use to improve our world. I ask that each one of us takes that torch, that flame, that illuminating force, and light the way forward, together. Let us light the way for a brighter world for all.

Thank you again for your trust in me, and for this opportunity to serve our community of learners at Winona State University and the State of Minnesota.”