Edna Mora Szymanski
The Tenth President of
Dr. Edna Mora Szymanski became the tenth president of Minnesota State University Moorhead on July 1, 2008. Since joining the university, she has embarked on a visioning process to clearly define MSU Moorhead’s strengths and characteristics. She leads through collaboration and communication, encouraging input from all vested parties to efficiently utilize all available resources. Our campus, state, and country face immense challenges and President Szymanski is poised to lead this great university through the days ahead.
Prior to her appointment as MSUM president, Dr. Szymanski was senior vice president for academic affairs and provost at the University of Maine, Orono. She was dean and professor in the College of Education at the University of Maryland-College Park from 1999-2006, and was chair of the Department of Rehabilitation Psychology and Special Education at the University of Wisconsin-Madison from 1997-1999, where she also served as professor, 1993-1999 and associate dean, 1993-1997. Before beginning her academic career at Madison in 1989 and earning her doctoral degree, she served as a rehabilitation counselor and then unit supervisor in upstate New York from 1975-1986.
She has earned numerous grants and awards for her research and produced many peer-reviewed articles and book chapters as well as edited books; offered scores of presentations across the country; and served in a leadership capacity on several national boards.
“Dr. Szymanski brings a wealth of experience from various other universities and a deep-seated enthusiasm for the community,” said Chancellor James H. McCormick. “Under her leadership, she will be able to build upon the strong tradition of excellence at this university.”
President Szymanski earned a Ph.D. in special education and rehabilitation counseling from the University of Texas at Austin and a master’s degree in rehabilitation counseling from University of Scranton, PA. She received a bachelor’s degree in biology from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute in Troy, NY.
“Minnesota State University Moorhead is a student-centered university in a wonderful community,” President Szymanski said. “This is a great honor and privilege for me. I happen to think this is one of the most forward-thinking higher education systems in the country.”
President Szymanski and her husband Michael live in Moorhead where they are active in campus, community, and civic groups.
For more information about President Szymanski, visit
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