Posted: May 31, 2002

Contact: Doug Anderson,, 651-201-1426

Community and campus input on a proposed reorganization of the five Northwest Technical College campuses will be gathered at a forum June 14 on the Detroit Lakes campus and through television at nine other sites.

Minnesota State Colleges and Universities Chancellor James H. McCormick and Office of the Chancellor staff will attend to hear suggestions and answer questions about the restructuring plan that was announced last week.

The community forum will be from 10 a.m. to noon Friday, June 14, at the Detroit Lakes campus, room C107. The forum will be televised live at nine other sites, where questions and comments can be submitted to the Detroit Lakes forum by telephone.

The sites that will be connected via television are:

  • The other four Northwest Technical College campuses at Bemidji (room 125), East Grand Forks (room 436), Moorhead (room 205A) and Wadena (room N26) and the Perham Technology Center.
  • Fergus Falls Community College (Administration 512) ??? Northland Community and Technical College, (room 325) ??? Bemidji State University (Deputy 111)
  • Minnesota State University Moorhead (Center for Business 105)

"These additional forum sites are intended to enable as many community members, faculty, staff and students as possible to participate and learn more about the plan," said Linda Baer, senior vice chancellor for academic and student affairs.

The proposed reorganization maintains the five Northwest Technical College campuses and streamlines administration through partnerships with other state colleges in the region and Bemidji State University.

McCormick requested further exploration of the proposed plan before bringing the proposal to the Board of Trustees at its meeting June 18 and 19. College President Ronald Swanson will step down at the end of his contract on June 30, 2002.

"We are exploring this reorganization plan because it presents an opportunity to strengthen technical education in the region and to be more efficient," McCormick said. "The savings will make it possible to provide enhanced educational opportunities to students."

The proposal would create a new management structure for the five Northwest Technical College campuses beginning July 1, 2002:

  • The East Grand Forks campus would be administered by President Orley Gunderson of Northland Community and Technical College in Thief River Falls.
  • The Bemidji campus would be administered by President Jon Quistgaard of Bemidji State University.
  • The campuses at Detroit Lakes, Moorhead and Wadena would be administered by President Ken Peeders of Fergus Falls Community College.

The three presidents would work together to ensure a smooth transition and develop a plan to deliver customized training, distance education, curriculum standards, programs and services to all colleges in the region.

McCormick presented the preliminary plan to the Board of Trustees last week. He selected the plan from options developed by Office of the Chancellor staff after they held 17 listening sessions at Northwest Technical Colleges sites that were attended by more than 500 people.