Michael Berndt Named President of Dakota County Technical College and Inver Hills Community College

Posted: March 18, 2020

Contact: Doug Anderson, doug.anderson@MinnState.edu, 651-201-1426

ST. PAUL, Minn., March 18, 2020 – The Board of Trustees of Minnesota State Colleges and Universities has named Michael Berndt to serve as the president of Dakota County Technical College (DCTC) and Inver Hills Community College (Inver Hills). The new appointment becomes effective immediately.

Michael Berndt“Michael has a long history with Minnesota State that is full of professional and personal accomplishments, and he has performed admirably as interim president of DCTC and Inver Hills,” said Devinder Malhotra, chancellor of Minnesota State. “He understands the importance and benefits of fostering and deepening connections between DCTC and Inver Hills, as well as building relationships with their local communities. He recognizes that we must celebrate the two colleges’ distinct programmatic orientations and identities: one as a technical college and the other as a community college. I know he will lead with the same inexhaustible capacity for hard work, positivity, and passion that has served him in all his roles.”

Berndt has served Minnesota State for 20 years, including his current role as interim president of DCTC and Inver Hills since 2018. In this role, his accomplishments have included expanding equity and inclusion work, increasing high school engagement, supporting academic excellence, and engaging community partners in workforce development planning.

Previously, he served as vice president of academic affairs at Century College from 2014 to 2018 where his responsibilities included providing oversight for more than 60 liberal arts and career and technical programs, the library, and several academic support centers across six academic divisions.

He served Normandale Community College from 2008 to 2014 as the dean, associate vice president, and vice president of planning and institutional effectiveness, and as the assistant to the president for strategic initiatives from 2006 to 2008. He was a full-time English instructor at Normandale from 2000 to 2006, and chair of the English department from 2002 to 2004.

He holds a bachelor’s degree from the University of Minnesota Morris and a master’s from Southern Illinois University at Carbondale.

With approval by the Board of Trustees, the chancellor is authorized to negotiate a three year contract with Berndt that will become effective July 1, 2020.

About DCTC and Inver Hills

The mission of DCTC is to provide education for employment. With 55 different programs, the college delivers cutting-edge, skilled, and technical training for today’s most in-demand jobs. Students experience hands-on learning opportunities that help them explore new interests and develop their full potential. Through career exploration and professional preparation, graduates leave DCTC career-ready. They get regular opportunities to meet with employers and to plan for life after graduation. DCTC was included in the 2018 Forbes list of top 25 two-year trade schools in the nation.

Dedicated to the power and promise of education, Inver Hills inspires students, builds careers, and strengthens communities. The college offers nearly 40 degree options that complement programs at DCTC including options designed for students planning to transfer to a four-year college or university or enter directly into the workforce. Nationally recognized as a veteran-friendly campus and ranked one of the top adult-friendly, two-year colleges in the nation by Washington Monthly, Inver Hills prepares students to succeed at a four-year college or enter the workforce.

DCTC and Inver Hills utilize a shared service model in which certain administrative functions are shared by both institutions. The colleges have operated under a shared presidency since 2015. This alignment strategy provides opportunities for the colleges to be more effective and efficient in meeting the needs of students and the communities they serve. The colleges are accredited separately by the Higher Learning Commission, and each enjoys full accreditation status. Located less than 10 miles apart, the colleges offer a powerful and comprehensive range of educational opportunities. Both will celebrate their 50th anniversaries in 2020.


Minnesota State includes 30 community and technical colleges and seven state universities serving approximately 350,000 students. It is the third-largest system of two-year colleges and four-year universities in the United States.