UMR Chancellor Stephen W. Lehmkuhle announces retirement

May 18, 2017


For Immediate Release
Contact: John Hachtel
Director of Marketing and Communications
507-258-8202/507-273-7950 Cell

ROCHESTER, MINNESOTA (5/18/2017) — University of Minnesota Rochester (UMR) Chancellor Stephen W. Lehmkuhle announced today his plans to step down from campus leadership on August 1 of this year.

Serving as UMR chancellor since its founding 10 years ago, Lehmkuhle is widely credited with “creating the campus from scratch” and helping further establish the U of M in southeastern Minnesota. With a current enrollment of 650, Lehmkuhle indicated his decision to retire is based on UMR’s “strong upward trajectory” and his deep confidence in “an enterprising and skilled leadership team” to carry the campus forward.

“Providing leadership to this unique and innovative campus has been the highlight of my career,” Lehmkuhle said. “The chance to build a new undergraduate health sciences university in the heart of America’s most dynamic city for health care was both a great opportunity and challenge as we created the University of the Future. It has been a rare privilege to work with such a dedicated faculty and staff and to have seen so many students benefit from the campus community’s strong dedication to their success.”

Throughout Lehmkuhle’s tenure, UMR was successful in testing new concepts. Primarily, the institution demonstrated that students from all backgrounds who have a passion for the health sciences can be successful in a rigorous academic program. Faculty and staff were empowered to innovate and create while student interaction with the community proved to be a critical component of their development.

“I want to stress that UMR’s success is directly attributable to the people of the community of Rochester,” said Lehmkuhle. “Their persistence and determination led to the presence of the University of Minnesota in this city, and their continued support and cooperation ensures that we will have a secure presence as a valued community asset.”

As Lehmkuhle prepares to retire, UMR is set to welcome its largest ever incoming class in fall of 2017.

“Steve has been a tireless advocate for UMR’s unique, innovative, evidence based educational vision to build an academic program that is answering the wide-ranging needs of the health care industry,” said University President Eric Kaler. “He has been an energetic connector for the campus and the wider Rochester community and worked hard to develop the public/private partnerships that are at the heart of the UMR vision, strengthening the bond between UMR and Mayo Clinic, all while creating a new model for higher education.”

Additionally, Lehmkuhle recently co-chaired the effort to create a University of Minnesota System-Wide Strategic Plan, which will better align resources and leverage strengths as a system to benefit students and citizens across the state.

Kaler has appointed UMR Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs and Student Development Lori Carrell to serve as interim chancellor.

About the University of Minnesota Rochester
The University of Minnesota Rochester offers students an unparalleled education in the health sciences, including an integrated, hands-on curriculum, personalized attention and a learning experience that is truly one-of-a-kind. Immersed in the heart of one of the nation’s most health-focused communities, students engage with medical professionals on a daily basis and graduate prepared to transform knowledge into discovery in the ever-changing world of health care.