Posted: October 6, 2003

Contact: Doug Anderson,, 651-201-1426

"I will have completed 39 years of work in education; 34 of those years have been in two Minnesota community colleges. While each year has been personally and professionally satisfying, the most rewarding and enjoyable have been my 13 years at Normandale" Horak wrote in a statement announcing his retirement to staff and students.

Horak came to Normandale in 1991 from Lakewood Community College (now Century College) in White Bear Lake, Minnesota where he served as Executive Vice President before accepting the position of President at Normandale.

During his 13 years at Normandale, he has guided the college through continuous enrollment growth, the colleges first ever major gift campaign, construction and renovation of two major campus building phases, significant growth of the Normandale Foundation and the expansion of academic and student service programs to effectively respond to the changing needs of students from the Southwest Metropolitan area of the Twin Cities. Horak is known for putting the needs and interests of students first in all leadership efforts.

His effectiveness and impact has reached well beyond the college. Horaks fellow two-year college presidents in the Minnesota State College and Universities system elected him to be the first chair of the Metro Alliance of two year colleges in the Twin Cities area. In 2003, he was selected by the state community college student association as the President of the Year and he has been recognized for his work as a member of the Bloomington Chamber Board of Directors, Bloomington Education Foundation, Wells Fargo Community Board and the Cornerstone Board of Directors among numerous other community organizations.

"President Horak has been a true leader, both at Normandale Community College and within the Minnesota State Colleges and Universities System," said James McCormick, chancellor of the system of 33 colleges and universities. "His vision, his passion and his dedication to students have been an inspiration to all of us."

The search for a new president will begin this month. System officials will meet with campus representatives next week and a search committee will be formed later this month, made up of campus and community representatives. After conducting a national search, the committee will forward the names of finalists to the chancellor, who will recommend one candidate to the system's Board of Trustees. The Board will appoint the president.

Normandale Community College in Bloomington, Minn., enrolls more than 11,000 students each school year. The college is a member of the Minnesota State Colleges and Universities System. Information about educational opportunities offered by Normandale Community College is available by calling 952/487-8200.