Tenth SMSU President chosen

Courtesy of Minnstate

Dr. Kumara Jayasuriya has been named the 10th President of Southwest Minnesota State University. He will follow current President Connie Gores who began her tenure at SMSU in 2013.

His appointment was approved by the Board of Trustees of Minnesota State Colleges and Universities on March 20th. SMSU hosted a welcome for him in the upper conference center the next day.

Dr. Jayasuriya thanked everyone for the warm welcome he had received and said “I pledge to you, I will do everything, I mean everything I can do, to propel this university forward, and get to the next level of excellence.”

Dr. Jayasuriya grew up in Sri Lanka, receiving his bachelor’s degree from the University of Colombo. He earned his masters from Southern Illinois University, and went on to get his doctorate from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee.

After completing his doctorate, Dr. Jayasuriya achieved multiple positions in the academic realm. He was the vice chancellor of academic affairs and a mathematics professor at Purdue University. He also served as the provost, vice president of academic affairs, and a mathematics professor at West Virgina State University.

He is married and has three children. Two of which are in college themselves.

Minnesota State Chancellor Devinder Malhotra has the utmost respect for Dr. Jayasuriya, and has complete confidence that he can fulfill his pledge.

“In Dr. Kumara, we have found the leader you all were looking for,” said Chancellor Malhotra. “He has the fire and passion to lead this university to greater heights, and work closely with you all to overcome the challenges of the day, and secure the future of this great university.”

Current President, Connie Gores, knows that Dr. Jayasuriya has found a place he can call home. She tweeted out, “My Congratulations to Dr. Kumara who was introduced today as the next president of SMSU. I know you will find the campus and the community to be warm and welcoming. SMSU is truly where you belong.”

The Marshall community can look forward to welcoming Dr. Jayasuriya, his wife, and his three sons to the area when his term begins this summer on July 1st.