Paul Cerkvenik is the president of the Minnesota Private College Council and the Minnesota Private College Fund. The Council and Fund serve the shared needs of the 17 nonprofit institutions that are its members.
On behalf of the Council, Paul is particularly active at the Minnesota Capitol, where he works with leaders from the member institutions to advocate for state policy that meets the needs of students, enhances private higher education and strengthens the state. With the Fund, he seeks to sustain corporate and foundation support to support our institutions and their students, including through scholarships.
Paul’s work representing the interests of Minnesota’s Private Colleges includes service on several boards. He is on the Leadership Council of Generation Next, a member of the Minnesota P-20 Education Partnership, a member of the state’s Higher Education Facilities Authority, and a member of the Greater MSP Partner Advisory Council. Nationally he serves on the board of the National Association of Independent Colleges and Universities, as well as on the group’s Tax Policy Committee.
He is also on the Executive Committee of the National Association of Independent Colleges and Universities State Executives.Paul has been president since 2009. He previously worked as an attorney in private practice in Virginia, Minn.; his previous career in politics included serving as legislative director for the Speaker of the Minnesota House of Representatives. Before becoming president, he had served on the Council and Fund’s board of directors, including as chair of the Council’s Public Policy Committee.
A native of the Iron Range, he earned his B.S. degree from Saint John’s University in Collegeville and his J.D. from the University of Minnesota. A St. Paul resident and father of three, he’s also a committed curler.