Posted: June 17, 1998

Contact: Doug Anderson,, 651-201-1426

The Minnesota State Colleges and Universities Board of Trustees has named Gary L. Rhodes president of Riverland Community College. Rhodes, 46, will assume office in mid-August. He replaces John Gedker, who is retiring.

Rhodes is vice president and academic dean at York County Technical College in Maine, where he has served since 1994. Prior to this he was vice president of training and development for the United Education Institute, a private postsecondary training institution in Santa Ana, California. In the 1980s, he was an associate dean at Rio Salado Community College in the Maricopa Community College District in Phoenix, Arizona.

"Dr. Rhodes' nine years of college management experience well qualifies him to lead Riverland into the next century,'' said Michael Vekich, Chair of the Minnesota State Colleges and Universities Board of Trustees. "In Maine, Dr. Rhodes helped build a brand new two-year college. His skills and experience will help Riverland grow and expand to meet the challenges of training graduates for work in a high-technology society."

Rhodes received his doctorate in education at Arizona State University in 1981. He also has a master's degree in Spanish linguisitics and literature from Arizona State. He received his undergraduate degree at Southeast Missouri State University.

Rhodes taught Spanish at Rio Salado Community College in the 1980s and at Arizona State University in the 1970s. From 1981 to 1988, he served as associate dean of instruction at Rio Salado Community College, which serves about 12,000 students.

"My passions are team building and communication," said Rhodes. "I want to establish a sense of oneness between the Riverland campuses."
Riverland has a campus in Albert Lea and Austin, and an educational center in Owatonna. The college serves a total of 5,557 students with a full-time enrollment of 2,001.

Rhodes was selected from among six finalists after a national search by a screening committee composed of college and community representatives. The committee was chaired by Patrick Johns, president of Anoka-Ramsey Community College. After the campus interviews, the screening committee evaluated the candidates and forwarded their names to Chancellor Morris J. Anderson of the Minnesota State Colleges and Universities system. Anderson interviewed the finalists, along with members of the Board of Trustees. The Board appointed Rhodes at its meeting on Wednesday.

Rhodes said he and his wife, Nam, plan to move to Minnesota with their two sons, Scott, 13, and Lance, 19. Lance will attend Riverland.