Why do I think I’m qualified to be a college president? Fair question. Here’s a first attempt at an answer.
I have enjoyed over 25 years working in higher education with a majority of that time being spent at Lake Superior College (LSC), a comprehensive community and technical college in the Minnesota State Colleges and Universities. During that time I have developed a strong sense of the overall importance of education to the future of our country in addition to an unwavering commitment to supporting the mission and values of community colleges. I’m currently serving as the Vice president of Technology and e-Campus at LSC.
My leadership aspirations are the culmination of my entire educational background and work experience. My career in higher education started in the classroom where I taught accounting for eleven years at research universities followed by another six years in the classroom at Lake Superior College in Duluth, Minnesota. My first administrative job came in 2001 when I was selected to serve in a newly created position as the academic Dean of Technology and Distance Learning at LSC. This position gave me significant experience in working with faculty on curriculum review and revisions while also directly managing the growth of online offerings at LSC. Serving as Chief Information Officer (CIO) helped me develop many connections with leaders at all of the institutions of the Minnesota State Colleges and Universities. One of the most important roles that I have played at my college is to work as an advocate for the bridge between academics and information technology. I have also been involved in building that same bridge system-wide in some of the committees and task forces that I have been appointed to by the MnSCU Office of the Chancellor. I firmly believe that academics is the engine that propels all that we do in higher education, and that the other units of the college are service providers who are needed to help support the primary academic mission.
My varied experiences in higher education create a rare confluence of skills, abilities, and interests. My years of experience as an academic dean and a faculty member qualify me to serve in the role of Chief Academic Officer (CAO). I also have the experience and expertise of a Chief Financial Officer (CFO) by virtue of my service as an interim campus CFO, two accounting degrees, and 17 years of experience in the accounting classroom; all of which have helped to prepare me to fully understand the financial issues facing higher education today. I have spent the past 9 years serving as the CIO at Lake Superior College, advocating for the proper role of technology in academia. I believe that my knowledge and skill set related to the CAO, CFO, and CIO positions give me a unique opportunity to lead an innovative institution of higher learning into the future.
There’s more to the story than that, but that should give you a good idea of my qualifications for a job as campus leader.
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