Posted: December 31, 2003

Contact: Doug Anderson,, 651-201-1426

In a move that will streamline the Minnesota State Colleges and Universities System, Hibbing Community College on Jan. 2 will become part of the Northeast Higher Education District, a consortium of state colleges in the system. The move coincides with the retirement of college President Tony Kuznik, and it will reduce the number of presidents within the system from 33 to 32.

The Northeast Higher Education District currently encompasses Itasca Community College in Grand Rapids; Mesabi Range Community and Technical College in Eveleth and Virginia; Rainy River Community College in International Falls; and Vermilion Community College in Ely.

The Northeast Higher Education District is guided by President Joe Sertich. The four colleges in the district this fall had a total headcount enrollment of 3,956 students, and Hibbing Community College had 1,832 students. The district governance structure was established in September 1999 by the system's Board of Trustees to streamline administration and enhance efficiency.

"The addition of Hibbing Community College to the district further unites the colleges on the Iron Range and in northeastern Minnesota in a way that will allow us to better serve the entire region," Sertich said. "It will give us an opportunity to enhance community development that spurs economic growth across the region.