Posted: February 27, 2006

Contact: Doug Anderson,, 651-201-1426

The names of three finalists for president of Hennepin Technical College have been submitted to the chancellor of the Minnesota State Colleges and Universities System, James H. McCormick. The candidates are Kathryn Jeffery, Charlotte Lee and Joseph Opatz.

The finalists were recommended by a search committee chaired by Keith Stover, president of the South Central College.

Kathryn Jeffery has served as chief campus administrator for the Charleston campus of Community College of Southern Nevada since 2004; interim dean for arts and letters at Community College of Southern Nevada; vice president of Columbia College in Sonora, Calif.; dean of student services and coordinator of faculty and staff diversity for the California Community Colleges; and coordinator of extended opportunity programs and services at Sacramento City College. She holds a Ph.D. in education administration from the University of Texas at Austin, a master of science degree and a bachelor of music education, both from Oklahoma State University in Stillwater.

Charlotte Lee has served as vice president for education and organizational development for the Association of Community College Trustees in Washington, D.C. since 2003. Previously, she was president of Terra Community College in Fremont, Ohio; dean of Muscatine Community College in Iowa; dean of academic affairs at John Wood Community College in Quincy, Ill.; and dean of academic affairs at Madisonville Community College in Kentucky. She holds a Ph.D. in higher and adult education from the University of Missouri-Columbia, a master's degree in secondary education from the University of Arkansas and a bachelor's degree in elementary education from Concordia College in River Forest, Ill.

Joseph Opatz has served as interim president of Central Lakes College in Brainerd since July 2005 while on leave from his position as associate vice president for academic affairs at St. Cloud State University. Previously, he was the interim vice president for academic affairs at Central Lakes; executive dean of Anoka-Ramsey Community College; special assistant to the president at St. Cloud State University; director of Atwood Memorial Student Union at St. Cloud State and director of the health promotion program at St. Cloud Hospital. Opatz also served as a state representative in the Minnesota House of Representatives from 1993 to 2006. He holds a Ph.D. in higher education from the University of Minnesota, a master's degree in counseling and student personal from Kent State University in Ohio and a bachelor's degree in psychology from St. Cloud State.

The new president will replace Ronald Kraft, who has served as interim president since last August. Chancellor McCormick, along with one to three members of the Board of Trustees, will conduct interviews with the finalists. McCormick will make a recommendation to the Board of Trustees, which could act on the recommendation at its regular meeting March 22. Hennepin Technical College serves more than 8,500 students in credit courses annually and provides various educational programs and delivery options at its campuses in Brooklyn Park and Eden Prairie.