Article Written by Savannah Reinke.

Since St. Cloud State University’s president Robbyn Wacker announced her departure in Nov., the institution has been on the hunt for a suitable candidate to take her place.

Two finalists have been chosen; Larry Dietz and Henry Morris. Both candidates have served various positions within the higher education realm qualifying them for the position. The St. Cloud State Board of Trustees launched the selection process this spring.

Dietz has served as a former president of Illinois State University from 2014-2021. He received his bachelor’s degree from Southern Illinois University Carbondale and then went to Iowa State University to earn his master’s.

Morris has worked at Minnesota State University since 1990. His previous role, Vice President of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion, was followed by his role of Interim Dean of Institutional Diversity/Senior Diversity Officer. He received his bachelor’s from Hamilton College, a master’s from the University of Rhode Island, and a doctorate from the St. Mary’s University in Minnesota.

The University made an attempt to give the student body a say within the decision, providing a candidate meeting day April 4th. This allowed students, community members, and staff to meet each of the candidates and offer feedback.

“Moving forward I would like to see a president that will address the problems our institution is facing financially. I want to see this place run long after I am gone,” Julia Werner, Senior Mass Communications student.

The institution had faced financial struggles over the past few years, leading to program and faculty cuts. The new interim president will also have to step into the beginning of three accelerated programs that were launched for St. Cloud State University earlier this year.

“A quality I would like to see the new president have would be good communication skills to be able to listen and respond appropriately to student and faculty issues,” Audrey Rabitz, first-year student.

July 1, 2024 would be the foreseeable start date for the chosen candidate.

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