Posted: June 15, 1998

Contact: Doug Anderson,, 651-201-1426

Four finalists for the presidency of Minnesota West Community and Technical College have been invited to participate in campus interviews beginning Monday, June 22. The new president will replace Ralph Knapp, who is retiring at the end of June. Minnesota West has campuses in Canby, Granite Falls, Jackson, Pipestone and Worthington.

The candidates are James R. Grove, Grace A. Guemple, Ronald A. Swanson and Ronald A. Wood.

Grove is campus dean of Minnesota West in Jackson, a position he has held since 1997. From 1992 to 1997, he was dean of students for Southwestern Technical College in Jackson. Prior to coming to Jackson, he was president of the Spencer School of Business in Spencer, Iowa.

Guemple has been a vice president at Lake Superior College in Duluth since 1995. For two years she was in charge of instruction and student services at Lake Superior, and since 1997 she has directed academic affairs. Prior to this she was president of Eastern Idaho Technical College in Idaho Falls, Idaho.

Swanson is on special assignment with the Georgia Department of Technical and Adult Education in Atlanta, Ga., where he has worked since 1997. Prior to this he was president of Coosa Valley Technical Institute in Rome, Ga.

Wood is 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.

The finalists were selected after a national search by a screening committee composed of college and community representatives.

After the campus interviews, the screening committee will evaluate the candidates and forward their names to Chancellor Morris J. Anderson of the Minnesota State Colleges and Universities system. Anderson will interview the finalists, along with members of the Board of Trustees. The board is expected to appoint a president at its July meeting.

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.