Presidential Posting

President, Central Lakes College

Minnesota State Colleges and Universities invites applications and nominations for president of Central Lakes College.

Central Lakes College seeks a visionary leader to work with students, faculty, staff, and the community in the energetic pursuit of its mission.

Central Lakes College is a comprehensive college offering a range of certificates, diplomas, and degrees for those looking to quickly join the workforce or successfully transfer to a university baccalaureate program.

The college has deep roots in the central Minnesota communities of Brainerd and Staples, the sites of the college’s two main campuses. Located about 30 miles from each other, the campuses are easily accessible from anywhere in the state. The region is known as a hub of year-round outdoor recreation.

Constantly growing and evolving as student needs change, Central Lakes College has expanded both in physical size and community impact. The College in the (High) Schools Program has ballooned from six partners to the current 30. Three major grants obtained by CLC and its partners have increased the community and classroom exposure to technology, advanced manufacturing, and agriculture. Major structural improvements have been made to each campus, including the addition of a Heavy Equipment building and main campus renovation in Staples. In Brainerd, the college has seen the addition of a music hall.

Central Lakes College is a member of the Minnesota State Colleges and Universities system. With 24 community and technical colleges and seven state universities, MnSCU is the largest provider of higher education in the state of Minnesota. Under the leadership of Chancellor Steven Rosenstone, MnSCU is committed to ensuring access to an extraordinary education for all Minnesotans; being the partner of choice to meet Minnesota’s workforce and community needs; and delivering to students, employers, communities, and taxpayers the highest value, most affordable higher education option.

Reporting to the chancellor, the president of Central Lakes College serves as chief executive officer responsible for leading the faculty and staff in fulfilling the college’s mission. The president serves on the system’s Leadership Council, which consists of the chancellor, the chancellor’s cabinet, and the 30 college and university presidents. As a member of the Leadership Council, the president contributes to the overall direction of the system.

Qualifications and Characteristics

The successful candidate will demonstrate most, if not all, of these qualifications:

  • Strong leadership skills necessary to provide vision and direction to the college, the community, and the MnSCU system
  • Strong proponent of the community and technical college missions
  • Champion of student success
  • Demonstrated experience advancing diversity and inclusion
  • Progressively responsible experience in higher education administration or in other complex organizations
  • An appropriate combination of experience in program and curriculum development, fundraising, governmental relations, accreditation processes, and budget and fiscal management
  • Experience in a collective bargaining environment
  • Experience and leadership with shared governance
  • Experience partnering with K-12 and baccalaureate institutions
  • Experience building relationships and partnerships with business, education, and other community organizations
  • Demonstrated ability to collaborate with other colleges, universities, and the system office, and to identify effective strategies for leveraging collective strengths, resources, and employee expertise
  • Demonstrated ability to innovate and encourage creative thinking
  • A collegial and collaborative management style that is authentic, transparent, and respectful
  • A visible, engaged, and accessible presence with students, alumni, community leaders, and friends of the college
  • Exceptional oral and written communication skills effective with a broad range of audiences
  • An earned doctorate or terminal degree is preferred but not required

Inquiries, Nominations and Applications

RPA Inc. is assisting Minnesota State Colleges and Universities and Central Lakes College in the search. Confidential inquiries, nominations, and applications should be directed to:

Brian Bustin
Search Consultant
RPA Inc.

Dana John Cohick
Search Consultant
RPA Inc.


Materials should be submitted to:

Screening of applications will begin December 3, 2015, and continue until an appointment is made. Nominations should include the name, position, address, and telephone number of the nominee. Application materials should include a cover letter, a current resume, and contact information for five professional references. Electronic submission of materials is strongly encouraged.


To learn more about MnSCU, please visit

To learn more about Central Lakes College, please visit