Posted: May 8, 2003

Contact: Doug Anderson,, 651-201-1426

The names of three finalists for president of Ridgewater College in Hutchinson and Willmar have been advanced to Minnesota State Colleges and Universities Chancellor James H. McCormick. The candidates are Douglas W. Allen, Larry A. Lundblad and Diane VanDerPloeg.

The finalists were recommended by a search committee chaired by Anne Weyandt, president of Anoka-Hennepin Technical College. Ridgewater College President Colleen Thompson Michels is retiring in June.

Douglas W. Allen has been vice president of educational services at Anoka-Ramsey Community College since 2000. Previously, he was dean of academic affairs for the college and served as associate dean at Mount Marty College/Watertown campus in South Dakota. Allen holds a doctorate in education from the University of St. Thomas. He earned a master's degree in English and a bachelor's degree in sociology from South Dakota State University.

Larry A. Lundblad has been senior vice-president of academic affairs for South Central College in North Mankato since 1993. He holds a Ph.D. in education from the University of Minnesota. Lundblad earned a master's degree in education, psychology and economics and a bachelor's degree in history and political science from Minnesota State University, Mankato. He earned a second bachelor's degree in horticulture and agronomy from Iowa State University.

Diane VanDerPloeg is a researcher at Colorado State University in Fort Collins, Colorado. She previously served for one year as interim president of Olympic College in Bremerton, Washington. Prior to this, she served as president of Spokane Falls Community College for 18 months and as president of Gateway Community-Technical College in Connecticut for three years. She worked in several administrative positions at Aims Community College in Greeley, Colorado, for 10 years. VanDerPloeg holds a Ph.D. in community college administration from Colorado State University. She earned a master's degree in education from the University of Northern Colorado in Greeley and a bachelor's degree in political science and sociology from the University of Denver in Colorado.

Chancellor McCormick and members of the Board of Trustees will conduct interviews with the finalists. McCormick will make a recommendation to the Board of Trustees, which could act on the recommendation at its June meeting.