- Associated Press - Wednesday, March 4, 2015

CAPE GIRARDEAU, Mo. (AP) - Carlos Vargas-Aburto will become the 18th president of Southeast Missouri State starting July 1, the university said Wednesday.

Vargas-Aburto has been acting president of Kutztown University of Pennsylvania since July. He was among four finalists for the vacancy created with the retirement of Kenneth W. Dobbins, who has been president since 1999.

Vargas-Aburto had been Kutztown University’s chief academic officer since 2006 prior to becoming acting president.

Southeast Missouri State has about 12,000 students and is based in Cape Girardeau, with satellite campuses in other southeast Missouri communities. Vargas-Aburto, in a release, called Southeast “an outstanding university with a national reputation.”

Board of Regents President Jay B. Knudtson said Vargas-Aburto has proven to be an effective academic leader and fiscal manager.

“For the past eight months, he has begun to implement his strategic vision for Kutztown and his experience and his commitment to academic excellence make him the ideal choice to lead Southeast Missouri State University institution into the future,” Knudtson said.

Vargas-Aburto holds a doctorate in physics and aerospace science from the University of Michigan. He worked at the National Autonomous University of Mexico, Kent State University in Ohio and Central State University in Ohio before going to Kutztown University.

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