News Release

Mary Holz-Clause Named Next Chancellor of University of Minnesota Crookston

By Elizabeth Tollefson on
Monday, April 3, 2017

holz clause

Mary Holz-Clause, Ph.D., has been named chancellor of University of Minnesota Crookston. Dr. Holz-Clause’s appointment is effective June 30, 2017, pending approval by the University of Minnesota Board of Regents.

“I am confident Mary will be a tireless advocate for the University of Minnesota Crookston, and her skills as a fundraiser, marketer and communicator will serve the campus well,” said University of Minnesota President Eric Kaler. “An entrepreneurial and accomplished leader deeply committed to the land-grant mission of a university system, she will provide strong leadership for Crookston’s unique position in the region, building on its legacy of providing an innovative, hands-on educational experience for students whether in person or online.”

Holz-Clause comes from California State Polytechnic (Cal Poly) University Pomona, where she has served since 2014 as dean of the Huntley College of Agriculture and as a tenured professor in the Department of Agricultural Business Management and Agriculture Science. In that role, she oversees a student body of more than 2,000 — many of whom are underrepresented minorities and/or first generation college students — 150 faculty and staff as well as five departments, four centers and nine farms and enterprises.

Prior to her work at Cal Poly Pomona, Holz-Clause served as vice president for economic development at the University of Connecticut (UConn), where she oversaw initial development of the UConn Technology Park in Storrs, Conn., and created an Office of Economic Development, garnering millions in outside contracts.

Accepting the chancellorship of the University of Minnesota Crookston marks a return to the Midwest for Holz-Clause, who has spent much of her life in Iowa—more specifically, at Iowa State University (ISU) in Ames. After earning her B.S. in Agriculture Business, a Master in Public Administration, and a Ph.D. in Agriculture Education and Extension there, Holz-Clause spent 25 years working at her alma mater. During that time, she helped ISU Extension become a dynamic engagement and outreach partner across Iowa, the U.S. and the world.

Holz-Clause and her husband also own and operate a corn/soybean/cattle feedlot in central Iowa.

“I am excited to join the University of Minnesota Crookston community,” said Holz-Clause. “The campus is a treasure for the area and the entire state. I look forward to working with the students, staff, and faculty — as well as the residents and leaders of the region — to grow the University of Minnesota Crookston and its research, outreach, and service to the region and beyond.”

An internationally-known researcher and speaker, Holz-Clause has served as principal investigator on contracts and grants totaling more than $40 million in the last decade, with extensive background in agricultural development and policy. She also was appointed by California Governor Jerry Brown to serve on the California Department of Food and Agriculture Advisory Board, the primary advisory board for the $100 billion agriculture industry in California.

Dr. Holz-Clause’s appointment will be brought forward for final approval to the U of M Board of Regents, which is expected to act at its May 12, 2017 meeting.

The University of Minnesota Crookston now delivers 34 bachelor's degree programs, 23 minors, and 40 areas of emphasis on campus as well as 14 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