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Janet Schrunk Ericksen Named Acting Chancellor of the University of Minnesota Morris

Sue Dieter
Publication date: 
July 13, 2021

Janet Ericksen

The University of Minnesota has named Janet Schrunk Ericksen as acting chancellor for the Morris campus.

Ericksen has most recently served as vice chancellor for academic affairs and dean for the Morris campus. She assumed the role of acting chancellor on July 1, 2021, following Chancellor Michelle Behr’s retirement. Behr retired at the end of June after four and a half years of leadership on the Morris campus. 

Ericksen will focus her efforts as acting chancellor on continuing to make the Morris campus a vibrant center for liberal arts education, engaged with the region, state, nation, and world.
“The campus has a strategic plan to reach and maintain our mission to be a national leader in collaborative and innovative 21st century liberal arts education,” Ericksen said. “Chancellor Behr leaves the campus in a favorable position to fulfill those strategic commitments. My role will be to continue that momentum.”
To assist with the transition and explore potential collaborations across the UMN system that will benefit UMN Morris and the University as a whole, Mary Holz-Clause, chancellor of the University of Minnesota Crookston, has also assumed the role of acting executive chancellor for Crookston and Morris.This builds on existing collaborations between the two campuses in the Offices of the Registrar and Admissions.
University president Joan Gabel has said the University will wait until mid-2022 before beginning a search for the Morris campus’ next leader.
Ericksen began her career at UMN Morris in 1998 as an assistant professor of English. Since then she has held a variety of administrative roles, including director of the Honors Program, chair of the Division of the Humanities, and interim chair of the Division of the Social Sciences. Ericksen was named vice chancellor for academic affairs and dean in 2020. Additionally, she has been an active participant in University of Minnesota governance, including as a University Senator and two terms as a member of the Faculty Consultative Committee.

Ericksen is a member of the University of Minnesota Academy of Distinguished Teachers, a recipient of the University of Minnesota Morris Alumni Association Teaching Award, and the author of Reading Old English Biblical Poetry (U Toronto Press 2020).
With Ericksen stepping into the role of acting chancellor, Peh Ng has been named acting vice chancellor for academic affairs and dean for the campus. Ng has been a mathematics professor at Morris for 25 years and has been chair of the Science and Mathematics division. Associate Professor of Biology Rachel Johnson has been named interim chair for the division.
About UMN Morris
One of five campuses that comprise the University of Minnesota System, the University of Minnesota Morris provides opportunities for students to grow intellectually, engage in community, experience environmental stewardship and celebrate diversity. A renewable and sustainable educational experience, UMN Morris prepares graduates for careers, for advanced degrees, for lifelong learning, for work world flexibility in the future, and for global citizenship. Learn more about UMN Morris at
About UMN
The University of Minnesota System, with campuses in Crookston, Duluth, Morris, Rochester, and the Twin Cities, is driven by a singular vision of excellence. We are proud of our land-grant mission of world-class education, groundbreaking research, and community-engaged outreach, and we are unified in our drive to serve Minnesota.