MnSCU hunts for new Riverland president

Published 10:40 am Tuesday, June 19, 2012

AUSTIN — Riverland Community College President Terry Leas will start his new job as president of Big Bend Community College on Aug. 23, but Riverland is scheduled to get a new president before that.

The Minnesota State Colleges and Universities Board of Trustees is expected to name an interim Riverland president to start Aug. 2, according to MnSCU officials.

MnSCU Chancellor Steven Rosenstone will visit Riverland Thursday to speak with faculty, staff, student groups and community members to begin the process of recommending an interim president, according to Melinda Voss, MnSCU public relations director. The board will name an interim president after that.

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MnSCU officials are putting together the criteria for a formal search for Riverland’s next president. Voss said it typically takes six to nine months, or an academic year, before a new president is named to a MnSCU college.

Leas is taking the presidency at Big Bend in order to be closer to his family.

“It was a very personal decision,” he said last week. “I am honored to be asked to lead an institution that, like Riverland, takes tremendous pride in its service to others and champions its excellence in teaching and learning. I am deeply proud of the work we have accomplished at Riverland on behalf of the students and communities we serve.”

Leas previously worked as a dean at Yakima Valley Community College in Washington, as well as an administrator at Thomas College in Georgia.

Ron Langrell, Riverland executive vice president, is also leaving Riverland this summer to become president of Bates Technical College in Tacoma, Wash.