Minnesota State Mankato Names Travis Thul Vice President for Student Success and Engagement

June 10, 2024 | Featured

a person in a suit and tieMankato, Minn. – Minnesota State University, Mankato President Edward Inch announced that Travis Thul (pictured) has been named vice president for student success and engagement, effective July 31, after a national search.

Since September 2021, Thul has served as director of operations and senior fellow at the University of Minnesota Twin Cities Technological Leadership Institute, an interdisciplinary educational center within the College of Science and Engineering. Concurrently, Thul serves as a reserve commander (O-5) in the United States Coast Guard, where he is the senior reserve officer for Sector Northern Great Lakes.

“Travis brings with him a wealth of experience providing direction and innovative leadership, as well as a passion for strategy, excellence and community partnerships,” said Inch. “I believe he will be a great asset to our University.”

As Minnesota State Mankato’s vice president for student success and engagement, Thul will serve as a member of the president’s cabinet and be responsible for providing leadership and direction for a student-oriented culture that ensures access, sustains educational excellence, fosters student development and supports high levels of student achievement and success.

Thul joins Minnesota State Mankato after serving for the past 16 years in positions of academic and public sector leadership.

In his current role within the University of Minnesota’s Technological Leadership Institute, he oversees the Institute’s graduate programs, short course, finance, human resources, student services, communications, strategic planning, business and grant development, and facility operations. Highlights of his accomplishments include building new programs in electrification engineering and technology leadership, as well as launching the Minnesota Semiconductor Manufacturing Consortium.

Prior to his current role, Thul was a White House Fellow appointed to serve as vice president for transformational exports at the Export-Import Bank of the United States, where he was a key leader for U.S. industrial policy and coordinated Ex-Im Bank’s economic diplomacy mission in support of the Abraham Accords.

Among other positions he has held, Thul served as the dean of technology, trades, business & transportation for Minnesota State College Southeast in Winona, Minnesota, from May 2016-May 2019, and he served as engineering technology program coordinator and as an engineering faculty member at the Community College of Baltimore County in Catonsville, Maryland from January 2013 to May 2016.

Thul earned his doctor of engineering degree in engineering management from George Washington University in Washington, D.C., a master’s degree in electrical engineering from the University of Wisconsin­­­–Madison and a bachelor’s degree in electrical engineering technology from the Milwaukee School of Engineering. He holds a graduate certificate from the Joint Forces Staff College at National Defense University in Washington, D.C., and is a licensed professional engineer. He also serves as a governor-appointed member on the Minnesota Board of Engineering and the Minnesota Board of Electricity.

Thul succeeds Lynn Akey, who served as Minnesota State Mankato’s vice president for student success, analytics and integrated planning from 2019 until her appointment as chancellor at the University of Wisconsin-Parkside, effective Jan. 2. Brenda Flannery has been serving as Minnesota State Mankato’s interim vice president for student success and engagement since Jan. 2.

Minnesota State Mankato, a comprehensive university with 14,635 students, is part of the Minnesota State system, which includes 26 colleges and seven universities.

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