Candidates recommended for presidencies of two Twin Cities area colleges

Posted: March 12, 2010

Contact: Doug Anderson,, 651-201-1426

Minnesota State Colleges and Universities Chancellor James H. McCormick said today he will recommend that the Board of Trustees appoint John O’Brien as president of North Hennepin Community College in Brooklyn Park and Tim Wynes as president of Inver Hills Community College in Inver Grove Heights.

O’Brien is currently on leave from his position as academic vice president and chief academic officer at Century College to direct the “Students First” project, a Minnesota State Colleges and Universities system initiative to improve student services. Wynes has been chancellor of the Iowa Valley Community College District, a two-college, multicenter district in Iowa since 2002.

“These two individuals will bring strong credentials and solid track records in academic and administrative leadership to these two fine colleges,” McCormick said. “Each candidate is well suited to the unique characteristics of each college. I am confident that under their leadership, these colleges will continue to advance their missions of serving students and their communities.”

In 2008-2009, O’Brien served as acting president of Century College. Before becoming Century’s academic vice president, he was an associate vice chancellor and system director for instructional technology in the system office, and an instructor at Normandale Community College, Augustana College in South Dakota and the University of Minnesota. He also has been an adjunct instructor at Augsburg College and the University of St. Thomas and has taught at O’Gorman High School in Sioux Falls, S.D.

He holds a bachelor’s degree in English and education from Augustana College, a master’s degree in Anglo-Irish literature from the University of Dublin, Trinity College in Ireland and a doctorate in English from the University of Minnesota.

Before serving at Iowa Valley Community College, Wynes was executive dean of governmental affairs, grants and college research and director of governmental affairs at Indian Hills Community College in Iowa; general counsel and director of the Division of Legal Services in the Missouri Department of Social Services; and a faculty member and assistant director of clinical law and clinic director at the University of Missouri School of Law. He has held adjunct positions at Iowa State University, Buena Vista University, St. Ambrose University, the University of Missouri Graduate School of Social Work and Missouri Southern State College.

He also has worked as a litigator in the Boone and Jasper counties prosecuting attorneys’ offices in Missouri and in the Missouri Public Defender’s Office. He holds a bachelor’s degree in political science from Cornell College in Iowa, a law degree from St. Louis University and is working on a doctorate in educational leadership and policy from Iowa State University.

The new presidents will replace Ann Wynia at North Hennepin Community College and Cheryl Frank at Inver Hills Community College. Both are retiring. The Board of Trustees is expected to act on the recommendations at a meeting March 17.