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About Dr. Kumara L. Jayasuriya

Dr. Kumara Jayasuriya became the 10th permanent president of Southwest Minnesota State University on July 1, 2019.

Dr. Jayasuriya has enjoyed a distinguished academic career and points to himself when he talks about the transformative power of higher education. He quit high school on two occasions, but with the urging of his mother, returned. Years later, he is now the president of SMSU.

A Sri Lanka native, he came to SMSU from West Virginia State University, Institute, West Virginia, where he was Provost and Vice President of Academic Affairs and a Professor of Mathematics since 2014. At WVSU, he was successful in implementing student success initiatives that contributed to an increase in retention while forging international partnerships, which increased overall enrollment.

Prior to that, he was Associate Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs and Professor of Mathematics at Purdue University North Central, Hammond and Westville, Indiana. There, he collaborated with other universities to establish statewide articulation agreements and worked with deans and faculty to establish new academic programs.

Before that, he was Dean of the School of Natural Science and Mathematics at Indiana University East, Richmond, Indiana. He held other positions there, including assistant professor and chair of the Department of Mathematics, and associate professor and division chair of the Division of Natural Science and Mathematics.

He holds a bachelor’s degree in Mathematics from the University of Colombo, Sri Lanka; a master’s degree in Mathematics from Southern Illinois University; and a doctorate in Mathematics from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee.

President Jayasuriya has proven himself to be an inspirational leader who works collaboratively and transparently. He speaks with enthusiasm about SMSU’s potential and his hopes that the entire University community will help spread the word about what an outstanding college choice SMSU can be for potential students.

In speaking about his new position and the opportunity to move the University forward, President Jayasuriya quoted Mahatma Gandhi: “You may never know what results come of your actions, but if you do nothing, there will be no results. I will do everything I can to propel SMSU forward to the next level of recognition.”

President Jayasuriya and his wife Salmini (Sal) are the parents of three children: Daniel, who is attending medical school at Marshall University, Huntington, West Virginia; Dylan, who will graduate from West Virginia State University in December 2019 and attend medical school; and Devon, who will be an eighth-grader at Marshall Middle School.

Last Modified: 6/30/19 11:02 PM