Photos of three presidential finalists

Minnesota State has named three finalists in the search for the next president of Winona State University. The finalists are Mary Bonderoff, Karim Ismaili, and Kenneth Janz.

The candidates were recommended by a search advisory committee comprised of students, faculty, staff, and community leaders, and chaired by Kumara Jayasuriya, president of Southwest Minnesota State University. The candidates are scheduled to conduct campus visits between Feb. 12 and Feb. 15. The campus visits provide an opportunity for students, faculty, staff, and members of the community to meet each of the candidates and offer feedback.

Click for Finalists’ Campus Visit Schedule

Click for Finalist Feedback Form

Complete search information is available on the Presidential Search website.

Mary Bonderoff currently serves as acting president of State University of New York (SUNY), Delhi, a role she has held since May 2022. Previously, she served SUNY Central Administration as special advisor to the chancellor from 2021 to 2022. She served SUNY Morrisville as vice president for student affairs and chief diversity officer from 2020 to 2022 and chief diversity officer and Title IX coordinator from 2017 to 2020. She also served SUNY Oneonta from 1996 to 2017 in various capacities, including director of the Center for Multicultural Experiences, director of student diversity and advocacy, and director of diversity education and campus outreach.

She holds bachelor’s and master’s degrees from SUNY Oneonta and a doctorate from Northeastern University (MA). She is scheduled to visit the Rochester campus of Winona State University on Wednesday, Feb. 14, and the Winona campus on Thursday, Feb. 15.

View Mary Bonderoff CV (PDF)

Click to fill out a feedback form on Dr. Mary Bonderoff

Karim Ismaili has served Bridgewater State University (MA) as executive vice president and provost since 2021. Previously, he served Bridgewater as provost and vice president for academic affairs from 2018 to 2021 (interim from 2016 to 2017), special advisor to the president for university priorities and global engagement in 2016, vice provost from 2014 to 2016, and dean of the College of Graduate Studies from 2013 to 2014. He also served Kennesaw State University (GA) from 2010 to 2013 as associate dean of the College of Humanities and Social Sciences, and Toronto Metropolitan University from 2006 to 2010 as inaugural chair of the Department of Criminal Justice and Criminology.

He holds a bachelor’s degree from Simon Fraser University (Canada), a master’s degree from the University of Cambridge, and a doctorate from the University of Western Ontario. He is scheduled to visit the Rochester campus of Winona State University on Monday, Feb. 12, and the Winona campus on Tuesday, Feb. 13.

View Karim Ismaili CV (PDF)

Click to fill out a feedback form on Dr. Karim Ismaili

Kenneth Janz currently serves as interim president of Winona State University, a role he has held since August 2023. Previously, he served WSU from 2008 to 2023 as associate vice president for Academic Affairs and CIO and added the role of dean of the library in 2015. Previous appointments include serving Indiana State University as the director of the Center for Instruction, Research, and Technology from 2003 to 2008, and as the director of information technology — College of Education from 1998 to 2003. He holds bachelor’s degrees from Dickinson State University (ND), a master’s degree from North Dakota State University, and a doctorate from Indiana State University. He is scheduled to visit the Rochester campus of Winona State University on Tuesday, Feb. 13, and the Winona campus on Wednesday, Feb. 14.

View Kenneth Janz CV (PDF)

Click to fill out a feedback form on Dr. Kenneth Janz

The Board of Trustees of the Minnesota State Colleges and Universities is expected to consider Chancellor Scott Olson’s recommendation at its March 20, 2024 meeting. The anticipated start date of the new president is July 1, 2024.


About Winona State University

Founded in 1858, Winona State University is a regional public university and the oldest member of the Minnesota State system. With campuses in both Winona and Rochester, Winona State offers more than 200 majors and programs in five colleges: Business, Education, Liberal Arts, Nursing & Health Sciences, and Science & Engineering.

More than half of WSU’s 6,000-plus students are Minnesota residents, and the university also hosts international students from 42 countries. WSU students have the #1 Student Success Rate in the Minnesota State system, and 92 percent of Winona State graduates are hired in a field related to their degree.

Winona State is ranked #2 among public institutions in Minnesota by U.S. News & World Report’s “Best Colleges,” has been named among the “Best in the Midwest” by The Princeton Review since 2003, and is recognized as one of America’s 100 Best College Buys. Known as a great community partner and neighbor, WSU generates $421 million in annual economic impact.

Winona State University’s mission is to enhance the intellectual, social, cultural and economic vitality of the people and communities we serve: a community of learners improving our world. For more information, visit

About Minnesota State

Minnesota State includes 26 community and technical colleges and seven state universities serving approximately 300,000 students. It is the third-largest system of two-year colleges and four-year universities in the United States.