Posted: September 18, 2002

Contact: Doug Anderson,, 651-201-1426

The Minnesota State Colleges and Universities Board of Trustees, acting on a recommendation by Chancellor James H. McCormick, today appointed James R. Davis as interim president of Riverland Community College.

Davis, former president of Lehigh Carbon Community College near Allentown, Pa., will replace President Gary Rhodes, who is leaving in October to become president of J. Sargeant Reynolds Community College in Richmond, Va.

As interim president, Davis will lead the college while a search for a permanent replacement is conducted. The search is anticipated to be concluded by June 30, 2003. Under a policy of the Board of Trustees, interim presidents are not eligible to be considered for the permanent position.

"James Davis will bring extensive and excellent experience to the interim position, having served as president of five community colleges over the past 31 years," Chancellor McCormick said.

Davis, president emeritus of Lehigh Carbon Community College, was president from 1992 to 2000. Prior to that, he served as president of Royal Oak/Southfield Campuses of Oakland Community College in Michigan, Wenatchee Valley College in Washington, McHenry County College in Illinois and Wabash Valley College in Illinois. His previous experience includes serving as assistant to the president of Highland Community College in Illinois.

Davis, 64, has taught communication, personnel, organizational behavior and management courses at the undergraduate and graduate levels. He began his career as a high school English and speech teacher in Freeport, Illinois, and West Dubuque High School in Iowa. He also is co-founder and former chairman of the Board of CAPE, a distance learning corporation that has more than 150 member colleges and universities, public school consortia, libraries and teaching hospitals. Davis holds a bachelor's degree in English from the University of Dubuque and a master's degree and doctorate in educational administration and supervision from the University of Illinois.

"I look forward to working with the students, faculty and staff and the community in continuing to help the college grow and prosper," Davis said.

Davis and his wife, Shirley, are living in Worthington, Minn., and he said they plan to move near the college.

Riverland Community College is a two-year comprehensive technical and community college serving more than 3,000 students with facilities in Albert Lea, Austin and Owatonna.