News Release

John Hoffman, Ph.D., Named Vice Chancellor for Academic and Student Affairs

By Elizabeth Tollefson on
Tuesday, June 5, 2018

John Hoffman, Ph.D., has been offered and has accepted the position of vice chancellor for academic and student affairs at the University of Minnesota Crookston, pending approval by the University of Minnesota Board of Regents. He is scheduled to begin his employment on July 30. John Hoffman

Hoffman comes to the U of M Crookston from California State University, Fullerton, where he has served as chair of the Department of Educational Leadership since 2013 and as director of the Doctor of Educational Leadership Program since 2012.

Prior to that, he served as coordinator of the counseling and student development master’s program at California State University, Long Beach. He also has held faculty positions at the Cal State campuses in Fullerton and Long Beach and has served as assistant to the provost as well as dean of students at Concordia University in Irvine, Calif.

U of M Crookston Chancellor Holz-Clause said, “We are excited that Dr. Hoffman will be joining us. He brings a strong and varied educational background and a rich diversity of experiences. His work early in his career in student affairs, coupled with his academic understanding of educational institutions, is a great combination for our campus. I am excited to be working with John and moving this wonderful educational treasure of Greater Minnesota forward.”

“I am deeply honored and humbled by the opportunity to work with Chancellor Holz-Clause and to work for the faculty, student affairs educators, staff, and students at the University of Minnesota Crookston,” said Hoffman. “I am particularly interested in building on the strong value of that big University of Minnesota degree offered at the smaller, more personal Crookston campus. Having spent the better part of the past 15 years at campuses with 40,000 students, I'm excited to invest in the more transformational education that a small campus like Crookston can provide through close mentoring relationships with students and hands-on, experiential learning.”

Hoffman holds a Ph.D. and an M.A. in educational policy and administration, both from the University of Minnesota Twin Cities. His undergraduate work includes a B.A. in business leadership and a B.S. in secondary education, physics, and theology from Concordia University in Seward, Nebraska. He has authored or co-authored several peer-reviewed papers and presentations, many of which deal with student affairs related topics such as student engagement, success, leadership, and persistence. Hoffman is a recent recipient of the Pillar of the Profession Award from NASPA - Student Affairs Administrators in Higher Education.

Hoffman said, “I’ve spent the last 10 years working at one of the most racially diverse campuses in the United States. There’s also remarkably rich diversity at the U of M Crookston in the high numbers of first-generation college students, Pell Grant recipients, and adult and online learners, not to mention a surprising number of students of color and international students. This diversity is the future of Northwest Minnesota and, with some deliberative and inclusive planning, it will be the strength of the region just as it is part of the strength of the U of M Crookston.”

“I grew up in a small agricultural community in western Iowa, so moving to Crookston feels a bit like moving home,” he added. “My wife, Joy, and I are looking forward to getting to know our neighbors in the community just as much as I'm looking forward to helping the U of M Crookston build stronger partnerships with its neighbors throughout the region.”

The University of Minnesota Crookston now delivers 35 bachelor's degree programs, 25 minors, and 40 areas of emphasis on campus as well as 16 degree programs entirely online.  These degrees are offered in the areas of agriculture and natural resources; business; liberal arts and education; and math, science and technology.  With an enrollment of 1,800 undergraduates from more than 20 countries and 40 states, the Crookston campus offers a supportive, close-knit atmosphere that leads to a prestigious University of Minnesota degree.  "Small Campus. Big Degree."  To learn more, visit


Elizabeth Tollefson

University Relations