Winona State narrows VP search to four candidates

Posted by HBC Newsdesk May 21, 2014

Last week Winona State University interviewed candidates to be the next Vice President for University Advancement. The position has been open since Jim Schmidt left the university last summer to become chancellor at University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire. Gary Evans, who had held the post prior to Schimdt, has been filling the position on an interim basis.

Dennis Cooley currently serves as the Assistant Chancellor of Advancement at the University of Wisconsin-Plattville. Cooley is very familiar with the area having once lived in Onalaska, Wisconsin. He said that familiarity of the region and with Winona State University attracted him to the position. Cooley believes his leadership skills make him a good fit for the job.

The second candidate brought to campus was Ernie Hughes, Vice President for Institutional Advancement at Southern University in Baton Rouge, Louisiana. Hughes has 20 years of higher education experience, 10 years of that in the fundraising arena. Even though his visit was brief, Hughes said he is impressed by Winona State’s forward thinking as evidenced by its proposed education village.

John Mosser, the Vice President for Institutional Advancement at Franklin Pierce University in Ringe, New Hampshire was the third candidate to be interviewed this week. Mosser was excited to learn about the WSU opportunity and spending vacations as a child in Wisconsin and Minnesota. Mosser said his work ethic and his love of fundraising make him a good fit for the position.

The final candidate is Bob Giere of Rochester. Giere recently retired from Mayo Clinic, spending 30 years with the organization. The last 26 years he has served as an administrator with the Mayo School of Medicine as well as the director of alumni philanthropy in the Mayo Department of Development. Giere believes his leadership and fundraising experience put him a good position to be the next Vice President for University advancement.

WSU President Scott Olson said he hopes to make a decision next month.

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