Incoming MSU president picks second-in-command

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Mark Fischenich, The Free Press, Mankato, Minn.
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May 5—MANKATO — Incoming Minnesota State University President Edward Inch doesn't take office until July 1, but he's made his first major decision, picking Brian Martensen as interim provost and senior vice president for academic affairs.

Martensen on July 1 will replace Matt Cecil, who was appointed provost and executive vice president for academic affairs at Northern Kentucky University. Along with overseeing the core academic mission of MSU, the position essentially serves as the chief of staff for the university's president. For that reason, retiring MSU President Richard Davenport said recently that it was critical that Cecil's replacement be chosen by Inch.

"It's a very important position," Davenport said.

And it's a position well understood by Inch, who is wrapping up his tenure as provost and vice president for academic affairs at California State University, East Bay.

Martensen has served since January of 2020 as MSU's interim associate provost and senior associate vice president for academic affairs.

"Dr. Martensen brings an innovative approach to student success and academic quality, a proven commitment to equity and inclusion and extensive experience leading through transitional periods," Inch wrote in an all-campus email Tuesday.

Martensen previously held various leadership roles in the College of Science, Engineering and Technology and in the Academic Affairs office. He started at the university in 2006 as an assistant professor, rising through the ranks to become a full professor, chair of the Department of Mathematics and Statistics, dean of the College of Science, Engineering and Technology, and interim associate vice president for faculty affairs.