Riverland VP named president at Wash. college

Published 9:58 am Friday, June 8, 2012

Riverland Community College will say goodbye to executive vice president Ron Langrell.

Langrell fulfilled a dream Wednesday when he was named the new president at Bates Technical College in Tacoma, Wash.

“I made pretty clear when I came to Riverland that I aspired to be a college president,” Langrell said.

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He will start his new job July 9.

“We are pleased to announce Dr. Langrell as our new president and look forward to the leadership he will bring to Bates Technical College,” said Mike Grunwald, chairman of the Bates Technical College Board of Trustees in a news release. “Dr. Langrell has the perfect combination of experience and leadership skills to help Bates build on our long history of success and move confidently into the future.”

Langrell has more than 30 years experience in higher education and has previously worked at Walla Walla Community College and College of Southern Idaho. Langrell is a native of Roseburg, Ore., and he and his wife have three children, ages 14, 12 and 7.

Riverland President Terry Leas is also one of three finalists for president at Big Bend Community College in Moses Lake, Wash. Before coming to Minnesota, he had been the president of Yakima Valley Community College in Yakima, Wash.

Riverland underwent many changes during Langrell’s seven years there. He was key in starting the Leadership Austin program, a community leadership training program for local residents. In addition, Riverland was involved in starting leadership programs in Owatonna, Albert Lea and Fairmont.

Langrell also oversaw Riverland’s acquisition of the Owatonna College & University campus. As chief administrative officer in Owatonna at the time, Langrell worked with several organizations, including the Governor’s Office, to secure a building for Riverland.

“I hold it as a great accomplishment,” he said.

One of his proudest memories of Riverland is being part of Riverland’s accreditation processes. Over the past several years, Riverland officials accredited the college in general and all but one program through a national organization.

“There aren’t many colleges in the U.S. that hold not only accreditation for the college but have almost all their programs accredited through a national organization,” he said. “I’m very proud of the fact that when you look at the Riverland website, we have almost all of our programs listed as either accredited or in the process of being accredited.”

Langrell will step into the top job at Bates looking to learn as much as possible about the school and the state of Washington’s higher education system.

He said he will also lead efforts to partner with local foundations and organizations to create fundraising and friend-raising opportunities for Bates, similar to what happens at Riverland. In the end, he is excited for the opportunity.

“I was very fortunate to become president of Bates Technical College,” Langrell said.