Three finalists recommended for Normandale Community College presidency

Posted: February 26, 2004

Contact: Doug Anderson, doug.anderson@so.mnscu.edu, 651-201-1426

The names of three finalists for president of Normandale Community College in Bloomington have been advanced to the chancellor of the Minnesota State Colleges and Universities System, James H. McCormick.

The candidates are Katherine Hiyane-Brown, Irene H. Kovala and Joseph P. Opatz. The finalists were recommended by a search committee chaired by Cheryl Frank, president of Inver Hills Community College. Thomas Horak, current president of Normandale Community College, will retire in June.

Katherine Hiyane-Brown has served as vice president for academic and student affairs at Tacoma Community College in Tacoma, Wash., since 1991. She holds a doctorate in education from Oregon State University. Hiyane-Brown earned a master's degree in instructional design and technology from the University of Iowa and a bachelor's degree from Grinnell College in Iowa.

Irene H. Kovala has served as vice president for academic affairs at Oakton Community College in Des Plaines and Skokie, Ill., since 1991 and as dean of alternative learning at the College of DuPage from 1997 to 2001. Kovala holds a doctorate in education from Northern Illinois University. She earned a master's degree in education from Colorado State University and a bachelor's degree from the University of Minnesota at Morris.

Joseph P. Opatz is serving as interim dean for educational services at Anoka-Ramsey Community College in Coon Rapids. He is on leave from St. Cloud State University, where he has held administrative positions since 1994. Opatz holds a Ph.D in higher education from the University of Minnesota in Minneapolis, a master's degree in education from Kent State University and a bachelor's degree from St. Cloud State University. Opatz is a Minnesota state representative.

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 March meeting.

Normandale Community College serves the southwestern metropolitan region of the Twin Cities, providing the first two years leading to a bachelor's degree and offering two-year career programs that prepare students for employment in fields such as dental hygiene, nursing, law enforcement and computer technology. Established in 1968, the college serves more than 10,000 students annually and contracts with local employers to provide customized employee training.


Minnesota's 31 state community and technical colleges, and universities serve more than 430,000 students across the state.