Charles Nies named chancellor of University of Minnesota Duluth

Charles Nies, PhD, has been named the tenth chancellor of the University of Minnesota Duluth, effective July 1, 2024 and pending approval by the University’s Board of Regents at its May 2024 meeting.

“Dr. Nies is an experienced, strategic leader who is ready to tackle UMD’s challenges and celebrate its success,” said University of Minnesota Interim President Jeff Ettinger. “He will continue to build UMD’s great partnerships with the Duluth community, region and the University of Minnesota System. UMD is poised for a bright future under his leadership.”

Nies currently serves as the vice chancellor for student affairs at the University of California, Merced. Founded in 2005, UC Merced is one of 10 campuses in the University of California system and the youngest university in the U.S. to earn the Carnegie R2 designation — the second-highest classification for American research universities. Nies joined UC Merced in 2006 as its first associate vice chancellor and dean of students, a role in which he oversaw the development and growth of student life programs on campus.

“I am honored to be able to serve in the role of chancellor at the University of Minnesota Duluth — having grown up in Minnesota, this will be a coming home opportunity,” said Nies. “I am also excited to join the Duluth and University of Minnesota communities. UMD is filled with wonderfully creative and brilliant students, faculty and staff, and I look forward to the discovery that has been and will continue to be our mark of excellence.”

Nies comes to UMD with over 25 years of experience in higher education. Prior to his work at UC Merced, he served as an assistant dean of an interdisciplinary school at Miami University in Ohio and a program director for a minor in leadership studies at Washington State University. As an instructor, he taught undergraduate and graduate courses in leadership theory, organizational theory and student development.

Nies holds two degrees from Washington State University — a doctorate in education administration and leadership and a master’s in counseling psychology. He received his bachelor’s degree in psychology from the University of St. Thomas in St. Paul, Minnesota.

Nies succeeds Interim Chancellor David McMillan, who will remain in the role through June, and Chancellor Lendley Black, who retired in the summer of 2022.