Semifinalists for President of Hennepin Technical College

Posted: March 27, 2015

Contact: Doug Anderson,, 651-201-1426

ST. PAUL, Minn., March 27, 2015 Minnesota State Colleges and Universities has named two semifinalists who are under consideration to be president of Hennepin Technical College. The candidates are Merrill Irving, Jr. and Lisa Larson.

The candidates were recommended by a search advisory committee comprised of students, faculty, staff, and community leaders, and chaired by Joyce Helens, president of St. Cloud Technical and Community College. The candidates are scheduled to visit both campuses of Hennepin Technical College between March 31 and April 1, 2015. The campus visits present an opportunity for students, faculty, staff, and members of the community to meet each of the candidates and offer feedback. Details of the candidates’ campus visits and the process for providing feedback are available at

Merrill Irving, Jr.
Merrill Irving, Jr.

Merrill Irving, Jr. has served as the associate vice president of continuing education, training, and workforce development at Oakton Community College (IL) since 2012. Previously, he served Miami Dade College as the chair of the School of Continuing Education and Professional Development at Wolfson Campus and director of the Department of Labor biosciences program. He was the interim executive director of the Center of Long Beach (CA), the director of education at the Homecare Workers Training Center (CA), and a regional director and business consultant at the Los Angeles Business Resource Group, Business Interface Inc. He holds a bachelor’s degree and a master’s degree from West Virginia University, and a doctorate from the University of Southern California. He will visit the Hennepin Technical College campuses on April 1.

Lisa Larson
Lisa Larson

Lisa Larson has served as the interim president of North Hennepin Community College since 2013. Previously, she served at Hennepin Technical College as vice president for academic and student affairs and vice president for academic affairs. She was the dean of business and industry at Lake Superior College, the dean of construction, manufacturing and transportation at Hennepin Technical College, and the general education coordinator at Dakota County Technical College. She was on the general education faculty at Hennepin Technical College and on the faculty of Minneapolis Business College. She holds a bachelor’s degree from Northern State University (ND), a master’s degree from Minnesota State University, Mankato, and a doctorate from St. Mary’s University of Minnesota. She will visit the Hennepin Technical College campuses on March 31.

The MnSCU Board of Trustees is expected to act on Chancellor Steven Rosenstone’s recommendation of a final candidate at its April 22 meeting. The anticipated start date of the new president is July 1, 2015.

The Minnesota State Colleges and Universities system includes 24 two-year community and technical colleges and seven state universities serving more than 410,000 students. It is the fifth-largest higher education system of its kind in the United States.