The Board of Trustees of the Minnesota State Colleges and Universities has named Kenneth Janz to serve as president of Winona State University (WSU). The appointment becomes effective immediately.

“Under his leadership as interim president, Ken successfully led the university through this transitional period, ensuring continuity in academic programs, financial management, and institution operations,” said Scott Olson, chancellor of Minnesota State. “He has the support of the students, faculty, and staff in his continued leadership as president of Winona State University.”

Dr. Janz brings over 30 years of management and administrative experience working in K-12 and public higher education institutions and is widely recognized for his strategic leadership skills. He is known for his work around digital equity and has leveraged that work towards the Minnesota State Equity 2030 goal: eliminating educational equity gaps at every Minnesota State college and university.

Dr. Janz has been serving as interim president at WSU since August 2023. He succeeded Scott Olson, who had served as president of Winona State since 2012 and was appointed chancellor of Minnesota State in 2023. As interim president, Dr. Janz has been providing strategic and operational leadership and engaging with stakeholders to advance the university’s mission and strategic objectives during the transition.

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. In these roles, he provided leadership and vision for the planning and implementation of information services that support the teaching, learning, and research mission of the university, and he led strategic planning efforts working collaboratively with faculty, staff, and students.

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 from North Dakota State University, and a doctorate from Indiana State University.


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. 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