Posted: May 21, 2003

Contact: Doug Anderson,, 651-201-1426

Minnesota State Colleges & Universities Board makes appointment today

Terrence Leas today was appointed president of Riverland Community College in Albert Lea and Austin by the Minnesota State Colleges and Universities Board of Trustees.

Leas, 53, is dean for student services of Yakima Valley Community College in Yakima, Wash., and dean for the college's Grandview campus. Leas will assume his position on July 14, 2003. Interim President James R. Davis will continue to serve until then.

"The board is impressed with Dr. Leas' experience in a similar two-year college environment, and we are confident he will provide excellent leadership for Riverland Community College," Board Chair Mary Choate said.

Yakima Community College, with campuses in Yakima and Grandview, enrolls more than 12,000 students annually and has been designated as a "Hispanic serving institution."

Leas holds a Ph.D. in higher education administration from Florida State University, a master's degree in educational administration and supervision from Valdosta State College in Georgia, and a bachelor's degree in social science education from Florida State University.

He has served in his current position since 2001 and from 1999-2001 was the dean for basic skills and instructional effectiveness as well as dean for the Grandview campus. He has held the Grandview campus deanship since 1991 and came to the college in 1990 as associate dean for the campus, then called the Lower Valley Educational Center.

Leas' prior positions include serving as executive assistant to the president of Thomas College, a private community college in Thomasville, Ga., from 1986-88, and for the previous five years, he held various administrative positions at the college. He began his career as a middle school social sciences teacher in Thomasville, Ga.

"Dr. Leas' experience, his credentials and his enthusiasm about the role of community and technical colleges made him stand out as an excellent fit for Riverland Community College," said Chancellor James H. McCormick of Minnesota State Colleges and Universities.

Leas' wife, Loyal, has been a high school English teacher for 31 years. They have been married for 32 years and have two daughters, Meredith, 24, and Amber, 20.

Riverland Community College is a comprehensive community and technical college that serves 4,825 students annually in credit courses at campuses in Austin and Albert Lea and at Owatonna College & University Center.