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MnSCU chancellor to recommend one for president of NE Minnesota colleges

Minnesota State Colleges and Universities Chancellor James H. McCormick is recommending that the current vice president of the Northeast Higher Education District be named its president.

Sue Collins, 52, has been vice president of the Northeast Higher Education District since 2006.

The MnSCU Board of Trustees will consider McCormick's recommendation at its March 19 meeting, when they could select a successor to retiring president Joe Sertich, who has led the consortium of five northeastern Minnesota colleges for about a decade.

Collins is one of three finalists named Monday. The others are Alex Capdeville, chancellor of Montana State University-Northern, and Karen Grosz, who was dean of instructional services at Lassen Community College in California from 2005 to 2007.

"Dr. Collins has a wealth of administrative experience and has demonstrated a passion for advancing the regional economy by aligning education and training with the needs of regional industries and small businesses," McCormick said in a news release. "She also has a strong vision for developing high quality and innovative programs that will serve students well in the 21st century."

Before becoming the district's vice president, Collins was provost for Vermilion Community College in Ely; dean of students and administration, director of student development, coordinator of student services, a faculty member and athletic director at Rainy River Community College in International Falls; instructor and supervisor of student teachers and a coach at North Dakota State University in Fargo.

Sertich announced his retirement in September. His last day will be June 30.

Member colleges of the Northeast Higher Education District include Itasca Community College (Grand Rapids), Vermilion Community College (Ely), Mesabi Range Community and Technical College (Virginia-Eveleth), Rainy River Community College (International Falls), and Hibbing Community College. The colleges serve more than 7,000 students in credit courses annually.