Posted: July 22, 1998

Contact: Doug Anderson,, 651-201-1426

The Minnesota State Colleges and Universities Board of Trustees has named Ronald A. Wood president of Minnesota West Community and Technical College. Wood, 51, will replace Ralph Knapp, who retired at the end of June. Minnesota West has campuses in Canby, Granite Falls, Jackson, Pipestone and Worthington.

Wood, who begins his new job Aug. 19, is currently the chief academic officer at Laramie County Community College in Cheyenne, Wyoming, where he has worked since 1994. Prior to this he was special assistant to the dean and an economics professor at Frederick Community College in Frederick, Maryland. His community college experience spans 25 years.

"Dr. Wood is known for his vision and leadership in a time of unprecedented change in higher education,'' said Michael Vekich, Chair of the Minnesota State Colleges and Universities

Board of Trustees. "At the schools he served in Wyoming and Maryland, he paved the way for technology to improve the classroom experience. He also understands that the classroom and the faculty are the lifeblood of any institution. Throughout his 16 years as a college administrator, he has taught classes and kept in touch with what is important to students."

Wood received his PhD in consumer economics from the University of Maryland. His master's degree in economics is from Washington University and his bachelor's degree in mathematics and economics is from Western Maryland College.

Wood spent the first 22 of his 25 years in higher education at Frederick Community College in Maryland both as a faculty member and senior administrator. He taught economics at Frederick and also served as a special assistant to the dean in the science and technology division. Wood is currently completing his fourth year at Laramie Community College in Cheyenne, Wy., where he is leading an effort to bring technology to the campus library. He also instituted a tutoring program for students.

Wood was selected by Chancellor Morris Anderson and recommended to the Board of Trustees from a list of four finalists. The finalists were chosen by a national screening committee composed of college and community representatives.

Minnesota West serves approximately 4,840 students annually with a full-time enrollment of 2,010. The college offers more than 100 majors. It is a regional leader in providing customized training and continuing education to area business and industry.