Dr. Scott R. Olson, PresidentDr. Scott R. Olson was appointed the 15th president of Winona State University on May 16, 2012. He replaces Dr. Judith A. Ramaley, who served as WSU's president from 2005-2012.
Prior to joining Winona State, Dr. Olson served as Provost, Vice President for Academic and Student Affairs, and Professor of Communication Studies at Minnesota State University, Mankato. During his time at Minnesota State Mankato, it saw significant growth in enrollment, diversity, innovation, industry partnerships, international programs, system collaboration, and applied research.
He served as Dean of the College of Communication, Information, and Media at Ball State University and as a faculty member at Central Connecticut State University. He also served for one year as Interim Vice Chancellor for Academic and Student Affairs in the Minnesota State Colleges and Universities system.
He has published two books, 30 book chapters, and 22 journal articles in publications in the United States, Canada, China, Korea, Poland, Russia, and India. He has delivered over 100 papers at conferences in Brazil, Canada, China, Denmark, Germany, Ireland, Korea, Poland, Taiwan, and the United States.
Through a $20 million gift from the Lilly Endowment he was able to create the Global Media Network (which won a national award from the American Council on Education) and the Center for Media Design.
Olson has served on 21 different international, national, and local boards, including current service on the Great River Shakespeare Festival Board of Directors, the Higher Learning Commission Institutional Actions Council, the Winona State University Foundation Board, and as Chair of the Executive Alliance of HealthForce Minnesota.
He won an Emmy Award and a Cine Golden Eagle Award in 2004 as Executive Producer of a documentary film about digital learning.
His Ph.D. is from Northwestern University in Evanston, Illinois. He grew up in suburban Minneapolis.