MnSCU Board of Trustees names Riverland interim president

Published 5:04 pm Monday, July 9, 2012

Riverland Community College has its new interim leader.

The Minnesota State Colleges and Universities Board of Trustees appointed Kent Hanson, provost and vice president for academic and student affairs at Northland Community and Technical College, as Riverland’s interim president during its Monday meeting. Hanson has worked as provost at Northland since 2003, according to a MnSCU press release. Prior to that, he spent 12 years at Northwest Technical College as a radiology program director and in a dean’s position in health and human services.

Hanson holds a bachelor of science degree in psychology and a Ph.D. in educational leadership from the University of North Dakota, and a master of science degree in Human Resource Administration from Central Michigan University.

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“Kent Hanson is an experienced, thoughtful and effective leader,” said MnSCU Chancellor Steven Rosenstone in a press release. “His record of success in collaborating with students, faculty, staff and community leaders will serve the college and its campuses in Albert Lea, Austin and Owatonna well. I am confident that Riverland Community College will be in very capable hands.”

Hanson will replace Terry Leas, who served as Riverland’s president since 2003. Leas will start his new job as president of Big Bend Community College in Moses Lake, Wash. on Aug. 23. Hanson is expected to start Aug. 2.

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

Leas is the second Riverland administrator to leave the college this summer. Ron Langrell, Riverland executive vice president, is also leaving to become president of Bates Technical College in Tacoma, Wash.