Riverland picks new president

Published 2:23 pm Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Riverland Community College has a new president.

The Minnesota State Colleges and Universities Board of Trustees appointed Adenuga Atewologun following a recommendation from Chancellor Steven Rosenstone at its Wednesday meeting. The current vice president of academic affairs and dean of faculty at Prairie State College will succeed Riverland Interim President Kent Hanson on July 1.

“I thank everybody for the warm welcome that I have been given,” he said. “Today is a memorable day for me.”

Adenuga Atewologun

Adenuga Atewologun

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Rosenstone said Atewologun’s strategic thinking and focus on innovation would be an asset to the college and to community partners.

“Dr. Atewologun is an engaging leader who brings a passion for excellence and deep experience to Riverland Community College,” Rosenstone said.

Clarence Hightower, chairman of the MnSCU Board of Trustees, echoed Rosenstone’s sentiment.

“Under Dr. Atewologun’s leadership, Riverland will continue to improve the lives of our students and help advance the competitiveness of our business and industry partners”

Atewologun said the appointment makes him reflective as well as jubilant. He urged those on the board as well as staff and students at Riverland to have high expectations of him as he works to strengthen academic programs and outreach initiatives.

“I take this as trust you have placed in my hands, and I will guard it very carefully,” he said, adding he will work selflessly on behalf of those at Riverland.

“Now the work begins,” he said.

Atewologun’s hiring is still subject to an employment agreement, which will be negotiated before his starting date this summer.

An on-campus presentation of the new president will take place at 9:30 a.m. March 28 in the Skylight Room at the Albert Lea campus.

Atewologun has served as vice president of academic affairs and dean of faculty at Prairie State College since 2009. He was an American Council on Education fellow at Bellevue College in Washington from 2008 to 2009, and served in various administrative roles at the College of DuPage from 1997 to 2008. He came to the U.S. in 1983, earning a master’s and doctorate degree in agricultural engineering from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign before beginning his teaching career in 1990.

Immediately following Atewologun’s appointment, one of the other candidates for the Riverland presidency, Annette Parker, was named president of South Central College in Faribault.

“It’s a tremendous honor,” Parker said. “I am just overwhelmed today. I am happy to be a part of Minnesota. I look forward to living here.”

Before Hanson served as interim president, Terrence Leas was president for nine years. Leas left last summer to become president at a community college in Moses Lake, Wash.

See a profile of the three finalists here.