Posted: July 23, 1999

Contact: Doug Anderson,, 651-201-1426

The Minnesota State Colleges and Universities Board of Trustees this week named Ronald Thomas president of Dakota County Technical College. Thomas, who succeeds the retiring David Schroeder as president, will begin his new position on Sept. 1.

Thomas has been serving as president of Coffeyville Community College in Coffeyville, Kansas, since 1995. From 1988 to 1995, he served as dean of students and continuing education/community services at Rochester Community and Technical College. For part of that time, during a sabbatical leave of the presiding president, Thomas served as acting president.

"Ron Thomas has the leadership and the knowledge of technical education to make an excellent president for Dakota County Technical College," said Michael Vekich, chair of the Minnesota State Colleges and Universities Board of Trustees. "He has a fine reputation for developing educational programs that meet the changing needs of students and employers."

Thomas has a PhD in education from Southern Illinois University at Carbondale, a master's degree in guidance from Southern Illinois University at Edwardsville, and a bachelor of science degree from Northeast Missouri State at Kirksville.

Thomas' career in education began as a social science teacher in Waterloo, Ill. He has been dean of educational services at Centralia College in Centralia, Washington; director of student services at the University of Wisconsin in Waukesha, Wis., and also at the South Chicago Suburban School System in Crete/Monee, Ill., and director of international admissions at Southern Illinois University at Carbondale, Ill.

Following a national search, finalists for the Dakota County Technical College presidency were chosen by a campus screening committee chaired by Sharon Grossbach, president of Hennepin Technical College. Chancellor Morris J. Anderson, with members of the Board of Trustees, interviewed three finalists for the position. Chancellor Anderson then selected Thomas and recommended his appointment to the Board of Trustees.