Archived Story

Riverland names new dean of arts

Published 9:51am Monday, June 23, 2014

Riverland Community College named Kelly McCalla as new academic dean of the arts, humanities and social sciences division. He starts his new position July 2.

Kelly McCalla
Kelly McCalla

With more than 20 years of higher education experience, McCalla spent much of his career at Central Lakes College, a community and technical college serving the Brainerd/Staples region of Northern Minnesota. More recently, he served as an academic dean at Minnesota State Community and Technical College in Moorhead. The Minnesota State Colleges and Universities has recognized McCalla through several awards including Administrator of the Year in 2012 and several best practices in diversity awards in 2013

He was elected and chaired the school board at Crosby-Ironton Schools. McCalla’s background also includes service as assistant to the Minnesota state director of the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Rural Development in St. Paul. His education credentials include doctoral work at the University of St. Thomas, master and bachelor’s degrees in English from Bemidji State University, and an associate in arts degree from Brainerd Community College, now Central Lakes College.

“We are excited to have Kelly McCalla join our dynamic academic team as we embark on the implementation of an exciting new strategic plan,” said Mary Davenport, vice president of academic and student affairs, in a press release. “Kelly’s experience in curriculum and program development, successful grant activities, work with rural high school College in the Schools programs and other innovative education initiatives will be tapped as Riverland builds outreach capacity to deliver ‘best in class’ programs and services to the communities we serve in Southern Minnesota.”


McCalla’s main office will be at the Austin campus, but he will work closely with all faculty and staff at all three campus locations including Albert Lea and Owatonna. McCalla will be joined in Austin by his family.