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Minnesota State University, Mankato

Minnesota State University, Mankato
Strategic Partnerships

Meet Our Staff

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Dr. Robert Hoffman

Vice President of Strategic Business, Education and Regional Partnerships

Bob Hoffman photoBob graduated from Minnesota State University, Mankato with a Bachelor's and a Master's Degree and from Utah State University with a Doctorate in Education.

Bob's career began as a teacher and coach in Redwood Falls and then as principal of Wanamingo High School. He moved into the business world—working for IBM from 1969-1971 as an Educational Consultant in Data Processing.

After completing his Doctorate in Education, Bob returned to education as Assistant Superintendent of Schools in Worthington, and then he became Superintendent of Schools at Waseca in 1974.

Returning to the business world in 1975, Bob joined Brown Printing Company in Waseca as Director of Marketing. Following positions of Vice President of Manufacturing and Senior Vice President of Sales and Marketing for Brown, he went to work for Taylor Corporation in 1988 as Group Vice President of the Commercial Division.

He was a member of the Minnesota State Colleges and Universities Board of Trustees for six years and served two years as the chairman. He currently serves as Vice President of Strategic Business, Education and Regional Partnerships at Minnesota State University, Mankato.


Ann Goebel

Director of Strategic Partnerships

Ann Goebel photo

 Ann has been immersed as a, practitioner, instructor, and partnership developer in the manufacturing arena for the past 16 years building off a 10 year career in service management, sales, operations management, and business development. She has held or been appointed to private and public leadership roles in applied areas of Lean, ISO, strategic planning, employee and student development.

She earned a BS from The University of Wisconsin, Stout in 1982, and an MS in Manufacturing Engineering Technology (MET) from Minnesota State University, Mankato in 1999. Joining Minnesota State University, Mankato in 2000 as full-time faculty in the Department of Automotive and Manufacturing Engineering Technology (AMET), she concentrated on senior and graduate manufacturing management coursework, applied industry projects for students and industry training. She served as the AMET Department Chair for three years before joining University Extended Education to broaden partnerships for the university in 2009. She currently serves as the Director of Partnerships with a Twin Cities metro focus along with greater Minnesota outreach for business and industry.

 Since 1995 she has consulted and coached with numerous sizes and types of organizations in quality and Lean integration. These include Winnebago Manufacturing, Delta Waseca, VTEK, Inc, Chandler Industries, Year-A-Round, Suzlon, Advanced Wireless, MICO Inc., Condux Int’l, AGCO-Jackson, Department of Economic and Employment Development, Rolco Inc., Secure Computing, Truck Bodies Equipment International, and others.  Ann has also developed and coached students with numerous Sr. Design and Graduate Project experiences directly applied within industry.  Her professional mission is to advocate for partner economic success through education and applied training solutions.


Cynthia A. Hanson

Executive Assistant to the Vice President

cynthia hanson

Cindy has spent her professional working career at Minnesota State University, Mankato and comes to the Division of Strategic Business, Education and Regional Partnerships with a wide and varied knowledge of the University.  

 Cindy has a strong commitment to excellence and integrity and appreciates the challenge of playing a significant role within the division. She has completed the Minnesota State Mankato Leadership Institute, the Elizabeth Kearney Women's Leadership Development Program through the YWCA and served as a chairperson of the 2013 Minnesota State University, Mankato Campus Drive. She was recognized and honored at President Davenport’s 2009 Convocation while receiving the Outstanding Service Award.  She has also been recognized by the President’s Commission on the Status of Women, the Women’s Center, and the Panhellenic Council as a “Woman of Courage and Vision”.