Posted: March 3, 2008

Contact: Doug Anderson,, 651-201-1426

The names of three finalists for president of the Northeast Higher Education District, a consortium of five colleges in northeastern Minnesota, have been submitted to the chancellor of the Minnesota State Colleges and Universities system, James H. McCormick. The candidates are Alex Capdeville, Sue Collins and Karen Grosz.

The finalists were recommended by a search committee chaired by Kevin Kopischke, president of Alexandria Technical College.

Alex Capdeville has been the chancellor of Montana State University-Northern since 2000. Previously, he was the chief executive officer of the University of Montana, Helena; director of technical and health education for the North Dakota Board of Occupational Education; curriculum coordinator and instructor at Montana State University, Billings; supervisor of technical education for the Montana Office of Public Instruction; and department chair for technical education and instructor for the Havre Public Schools in Montana. He holds a doctorate in administration from Colorado State University; a master's degree in curriculum from Montana State University and a bachelor's degree in vocational education from Montana State University-Northern.

Sue Collins has been vice president of the Northeast Higher Education District since 2006. Previously, she was provost for Vermilion Community College in Ely; dean of students and administration, director of student development, coordinator of student services, a faculty member and athletic director at Rainy River Community College in International Falls; instructor and supervisor of student teachers and a coach at North Dakota State University Fargo. She holds a doctorate in educational policy and administration from the University of Minnesota, a master's degree in education from the Southern Illinois University Carbondale, a bachelor's degree in education from Western Illinois University and an associate degree from Danville Area Community College in Illinois.

Karen Grosz served as dean of instructional services at Lassen Community College in California from 2005 to 2007. Previously, she was interim dean of math, science, engineering and technology at Truckee Meadows Community College in Nevada; executive director of the Council for Cultural and Economic Advancement of Northern New England and Southeastern Canada; president of New Hampshire Community Technical College Berlin and Laconia; chief academic officer and director of student services for the Connecticut Community College System; dean of language arts for San Jose City College in California; a member of the California Community Colleges Board of Governors; president of the academic senate for the California Community Colleges; professor of English at Santa Monica College in California; and assistant professor of English at Monroe Community College in New York. She holds a doctorate in higher education from the University of California, Los Angeles, a master's degree in English from the University of Illinois-Urbana and a bachelor's degree in English from Coe College in Iowa.

The new president will replace Joseph Sertich, who is retiring. The chancellor, along with one to three members of the Board of Trustees and others, 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 19.

The Northeast Higher Education District, which comprises Hibbing Community College, Itasca Community College in Grand Rapids, Mesabi Range Community and Technical College in Eveleth and Virginia, Rainy River Community College and Vermilion Community College, serves more than 7,000 students in credit courses annually and provides a variety of educational programs and delivery options.