Posted: May 8, 2002

Contact: Doug Anderson,, 651-201-1426

More than 500 participants at listening sessions last week offered strong support for technical education and numerous options for the future structure of Northwest Technical College to representatives of the Office of the Chancellor of Minnesota State Colleges and Universities. Participants included community members and college alumni, faculty, staff, students and administrators.

President Ronald Swanson earlier announced he would step down as president of the college at the end of his current contract on June 30, 2002. The two-year technical college has campuses in Bemidji, Detroit Lakes, East Grand Forks, Moorhead and Wadena.

"Chancellor James McCormick and I are deeply appreciative for the time and thought that people are giving to the future structure of Northwest Technical College, " said Linda Baer, senior vice chancellor for academic and student affairs for Minnesota State Colleges and Universities.

"People clearly care about the college, and their feedback underscores the important role the college plays in serving the state with high-quality technical education," Baer said. "Their comments and suggestions will be valuable in our planning process for the future structure of the college."

Participants included 159 individuals at the community listening sessions, 228 at the faculty and staff sessions, 89 at the student sessions and about 25 at a session for administrators. The listening sessions were held at each of the five campuses and in Perham, where the college's top administrative offices are located.

Northwest Technical College serves about 4,800 students per semester.