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Centko leaving NTC for Northern Michigan University

BEMIDJI -- John Centko is returning to his alma mater.

Centko, the outgoing provost and vice president for Northwest Technical College, on Monday said he has accepted a position at Northern Michigan University in Marquette, Mich.

It is a bit of a homecoming for Centko, who graduated from NMU and in the past worked in several roles there, including facilities management.

"I'd been keeping my eye on the college for sometime, watching for different positions to open," Centko told the Pioneer. "I think a lot of people, they would like this kind of thing, the ability to go back and teach or work at the place they graduated from. There's a level of romance associated to it in a way."

He will serve as the department head for the Department of Technology and Occupational Sciences at NMU. He begins in early July.

Centko has served as provost of NTC since May 2012.

"I think we've made great advancements in partnering with the community," Centko said, specifically mentioning the greater partnerships between NTC and Bemidji State University, the creation of the developing Minnesota Innovation Institute, and the strengthening of links between students and businesses, which resulted in increased internships and local job opportunities.

Previously, Centko was dean of academic affairs for what is now Minnesota State Community and Technical College. From 2000 to 2003, he was dean of manufacturing, information technology and transportation at Northwest Technical College when it had five campuses in Bemidji, East Grand Forks, Moorhead, Detroit Lakes and Wadena.

"My past experience in 15 years in the MnSCU system, working with two-year and four-year institute has really prepared for me for this (new) position," Centko said.

NTC announced last week that Robert Griggs, most recently the vice president for innovation and extended learning at both NTC and BSU, has been named the interim dean of NTC, a position designed to help the college prepare for expected restructuring.

Centko now is preparing to relocate to Marquette, where he and his wife will temporarily reside in the family cabin in that area as they search for a permanent home.

"We just really enjoyed being in this community," Centko said, reflecting on his Bemidji experiences. "We felt that the community welcomed us when we moved here and we just really enjoyed the community a lot."