Posted: May 15, 1996

Contact: Doug Anderson,, 651-201-1426

John J. Gedker was chosen today as president of the soon-to-be consolidated technical college and community college campuses at Austin and the technical college campus at Albert Lea.

The appointment becomes effective on July 1, 1996, the same day the three campuses combine as the new Riverland Community College, a Technical and Community College. The college, which will serve approximately 3,000 students, also includes a facility in Owatonna that provides technical and community college classes.

Gedker currently serves as president and lead administrator of the Austin technical college campus.

His appointment was recommended by Chancellor Judith Eaton of the Minnesota State Colleges and Universities (MnSCU) and approved by the MnSCU Board of Trustees.

"John Gedker will provide strong and solid leadership for the newly consolidated college," Eaton said. "He is held in great esteem by the communities in Austin, Albert Lea and Owatonna as a thoughtful and dedicated leader in two-year higher education, with a particularly extensive background in technical education."

Gedker has worked in education for 37 years. He joined Austin Technical College (later called Minnesota Riverland Technical College-Austin) in 1970 to begin the graphics technology program and then to serve as the department head. He later worked as the college's director of custom training and assistant director before moving into his current position.

Previously, Gedker held teaching positions at Fairmont State College in West Virginia, Northern State College in South Dakota and public schools in Truman, Minnesota; Baltimore, Maryland; and New Town, North Dakota.

He also has experience in printing and graphics, plus business experience in the construction trades. He completed a year-long internship with a telecommunications firm.

A native of Glyndon, Minnesota, he earned a bachelor's degree from Moorhead State University and a master's degree from Mankato State University. He also has done graduate work at West Virginia University.

The consolidation of the campuses in Austin and Albert Lea is part of a new administrative alignment in south central Minnesota approved by the Board of Trustees. Other impending consolidations include: 1) the technical college campuses at Faribault and Mankato, to be called South Central College; and 2) the community and technical college campuses in Rochester, to be called Rochester Community and Technical College. The consolidations, which take effect July 1, are intended to increase administrative effectiveness and enhance academic programming and service to students.

The colleges are member institutions of MnSCU, the statewide higher education system that came into existence on July 1, 1995. MnSCU serves more than 151,000 students at 62 campuses around the state.