John Hoffman named next president for Bemidji State, Northwest Technical College

Effective July 1, 2022, John Hoffman will serve as the next president for Bemidji State University and Northwest Technical College.

John Hoffman

BEMIDJI – Effective July 1, 2022, John Hoffman will serve as the next president for Bemidji State University and Northwest Technical College.

The Board of Trustees of the Minnesota State System of Colleges and Universities confirmed Hoffman’s appointment during a March 16 meeting.

“Dr. Hoffman is an accomplished and strategic leader who understands that building an empowering ethos for faculty and staff is critical to take both institutions to the next level,” Chancellor Devinder Malhotra said while making his recommendation to the board.

Malhotra expounded on Hoffman’s commitment to diversity, equity and inclusion along with his complete understanding of Minnesota State’s Equity 2030, an initiative to eliminate educational equity gaps at every Minnesota college and university.

“(Hoffman) fully understands Equity 2030 as a unifying framework and organizing principle of student success,” Malhotra continued. “He exhibits through his work great leadership traits and has prepared himself well through both experience and expertise to assume the presidency of Bemidji State University and Northwest Technical College.”


Hoffman has served as the vice chancellor for academic and student affairs at the University of Minnesota Crookston since 2018, and he also assumed duties as acting senior vice chancellor in 2021. His responsibilities have spanned all of academics, student affairs and enrollment management.

Signature accomplishments have included implementing multifaceted student success programs credited with increasing student success and retention rates, reducing the first-year retention rate disparities between Black and Indigenous students, and students of color and their white counterparts, and increasing performance on two-thirds of core learning outcomes for all students during their first year of college.

Other accomplishments include overhauling enrollment management functions. This past year, he co-authored the University of Minnesota system-wide strategic enrollment management plan. He also led UMN Crookston aspects of system-wide plans addressing COVID-19 response and related educational initiatives.

Previously, he held a variety of faculty and administrative positions within the California State University System between 2004 and 2018 including being the chair of the Department of Educational Leadership and director of the Doctor of Educational Leadership Program.

Over the span of 10 years at California State Fullerton, he earned tenure and advancement to full professor, and his leadership contributed to significant diversification of the faculty, enrollment growth including increases in the racial and ethnic diversity of students and enhanced graduation rates with no measurable achievement gaps by race or gender.

Prior appointments include service as dean of students at Concordia University Irvine from 1998 to 2004, multiple student affairs roles at Concordia University St. Paul from 1995 to 1998, and a year of service as a major gifts officer at Concordia University Nebraska from 1994 to 1995.

He holds a bachelor’s degree from Concordia University Nebraska and a master’s and a doctorate from the University of Minnesota.

Hoffman succeeds Faith Hensrud who has served as president since 2016 and announced her retirement in August 2021.

Daltyn Lofstrom is a reporter at the Bemidji Pioneer focusing on education and community stories.
What To Read Next
Get Local