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NASH Honors Devinder Malhotra with Inaugural Lifetime Achievement Award

April 4, 2024

Malhotra is recognized for his trailblazing career in higher education and visionary leadership at Minnesota State Colleges and Universities


Washington, D.C. –  The National Association of Higher Education Systems (NASH) is proud to announce Devinder Malhotra as the distinguished recipient of its inaugural Lifetime Achievement Award. This award honors those whose careers in higher education have embraced systemness and demonstrated the Power of Systems. With a forty-plus-year career in higher education, including his work at Minnesota State Colleges and Universities, Malhotra has made an impact on countless students, faculty, colleagues, communities, and more. He was presented this award at NASH’s annual convening of higher education leaders in Washington, D.C. 


“Devinder Malhotra’s unwavering commitment to excellence and innovation in higher education has left an indelible mark on all of us,” said Brian McCall, Chancellor of the Texas State University System and Chair of the NASH Board of Directors. “His visionary leadership and dedication to fostering collaboration have set a precedent for system leaders nationwide. We commend him for his outstanding contributions and celebrate his profound impact on the future of education.”


“Devinder’s impact, innovation, and dedication to higher education over the years is truly inspiring,” said Dr. Jason E. Lane, President and Chief Systemness Officer of NASH. “His genuine belief in the idea of systemness has helped catapult not only Minnesota’s postsecondary institutions but inspired systems across the nation. We are forever grateful for his service, and congratulate him on this well-deserved recognition celebrating his enduring legacy.”


Malhotra most recently served as the Chancellor of Minnesota State where he developed and strengthened relationships with state officials, legislators, and community leaders. Under his leadership, Minnesota State initiated Equity 2030, a significant strategic endeavor aimed at eradicating educational disparities across race and ethnicity, socioeconomic status, and first-generation backgrounds at all Minnesota State colleges and universities by 2030. 


“Devinder’s style of consultative and servant leadership unified everyone within the Minnesota State system – including bargaining units, college and university presidents, faculty, staff, and students – behind his vision for student success, no matter who they are or their economic background,” said Roger Moe, Chair of the Minnesota State Board of Trustees. “His influence continues today and will for many years at Minnesota State.”


In addition to his transformative leadership at Minnesota State, Malhotra has held a variety of esteemed administrative and academic positions throughout his career. From serving as Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs at St. Cloud State University to his role as Dean of the College of Arts and Sciences at the University of Southern Maine, Malhotra’s dedication to advancing higher education is unparalleled. 


“Devinder achieved something rare while leading Minnesota State – he aligned many disparate groups, with their wide-ranging agendas, behind one common vision, Equity 2030,” said Scott Olson, current Minnesota State Chancellor. “It’s a feat not easily achieved within the culture of higher education, and he did it with humility and humor. His vision will impact multiple generations of Minnesotans.”


Having previously served on NASH’s Board of Directors, Malhotra’s exemplary work epitomizes the essence of the Power of Systems, making him an exemplary recipient of this esteemed award.


About the National Association of Higher Education Systems

Founded in 1979, the National Association of Higher Education Systems (NASH) works to advance the role of multi-campus systems and the concept of systemness to create a more vibrant and sustainable higher education sector. NASH systems are comprised of more than 700 campuses and serve more than 7.5 million students in nearly every state in the United States. To learn more about NASH and its national transformation agenda, the Power of Systems, visit




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