David R. Metzen

Outstanding Achievement Award Recipient

College of Education and Human Development, June 19, 2017

David R. Metzen received a bachelor of science degree in elementary education (1964), a master of science degree in educational administration (1970), and an Ed.D. in educational administration (1973) from the College of Education and Human Development at the University of Minnesota. He is described as a lifelong learner and educator and as someone who has demonstrated exemplary leadership in a variety of professions. Metzen served as superintendent of the South St. Paul Public School District (1982-2000), where he is credited for developing one of the most successful grass roots, public school foundations in the state. He then went on to serve as executive director of the Dodge Nature Center in St. Paul, Minnesota (2001-2004), where he expanded science and education opportunities for children and youth. He developed scholarship programs for low income and minority students and improved public access to its programs. Metzen was appointed by then governor Tim Pawlenty as commissioner of the Minnesota Office of Higher Education (2009-2011), where he successfully launched a team-based approach to work with the legislature and served on the Minnesota P-20 Education Partnership Committee. Metzen was elected to the University of Minnesota Board of Regents in 1997, serving for 12 years. For two of those years he served as chairman of the Board. During his tenure on the Board, Metzen was a leading voice for improving student access and affordability, and increasing undergraduate retention and graduation rates. He is described as an extraordinary alumnus of the University of Minnesota whose work has benefitted thousands of children and youth, improved the PreK-12 education system, and advanced access, excellence and opportunity in Minnesota’s system of higher education.

Biographies are as-of time of award presentation.