Posted: April 22, 2003

Contact: Doug Anderson,, 651-201-1426

The names of four finalists for president of Riverland Community College in Albert Lea and Austin have been advanced to Chancellor James H. McCormick of the Minnesota State Colleges and Universities. The candidates are Michael K. Bequette, Terrence Leas, Charlotte J. Lee and G. Dennis Massey.

The finalists were recommended by a search committee chaired by Patrick Johns, president of Anoka-Ramsey Community College. James R. Davis currently is serving as interim president of Riverland Community College.

Michael K. Bequette has been senior vice president and chief academic officer at Riverland Community College since 2001. Previously he was dean of liberal arts and sciences and vice president of learning services at Rock Valley College in Rockford, Ill., for six years. Bequette holds a doctorate and a master's degree in English from Wayne State University and a bachelor's degree in English from the University of Michigan.

Terrence Leas serves as dean for student services and dean for the Grandview campus of the Yakima Valley Community College in Yakima, Wash. Prior to that, he served as the college's dean for basic skills and instructional effectiveness and dean for the Grandview campus for 13 years. Leas holds a Ph.D. in higher education administration from Florida State University, a master's degree in educational administration and supervision from Valdosta State College and a bachelor's degree in social science education from Florida State University.

Charlotte J. Lee has been president of Terra Community College in Fremont, Ohio, since 1993. Previously she was dean of the college at Muscatine Community College in Muscatine, Iowa, from 1988. She holds a doctorate in higher and adult education from the University of Missouri-Columbia, a master's degree in secondary education from the University of Arkansas, and a bachelor's degree in elementary education from Concordia College in River Forest, Ill.

G. Dennis Massey currently is interim president of McHenry County College in Crystal Lake, Ill., where he served as vice president for academic and student affairs from 1999-2002. Prior to that, he was campus executive officer and dean at the University of Wisconsin-Marathon County in Wausau. He holds a Ph.D. in English from the University of Cincinnati and master's and bachelor's degrees in English from The Johns Hopkins University.

Chancellor McCormick, three members of the Board of Trustees and the chancellor's cabinet will conduct interviews with the finalists May 5. McCormick will make a recommendation to the Board of Trustees, which is expected to appoint the new president at its May 21 meeting.