Trustee Emeritus Jim Luoma honored by national organization for educational leadership

Posted: March 23, 2010

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

Eleven campus administrators and four campus teams also honored for exemplary leadership

Jim Luoma, trustee emeritus of the Minnesota State Colleges and Universities system, received the Paul A. Elsner International Excellence in Leadership Award from the Chair Academy, a national organization focused on higher education leadership development based in Phoenix.

The award was presented March 16 at the group’s annual conference in Bloomington. Luoma was a member of the Board of Trustees from 1999-2004 and served as its chair and vice chair. He was chosen for “demonstrating foresight in educational leadership as well as for modeling transformational leadership qualities for the colleges and universities in the Minnesota State Colleges and Universities system,” according to Gary Filan, the group’s executive director.

“It’s a very humbling,” Luoma said about the award. “I view it not as a personal award but I accept on behalf of the system, which makes things happen.”

Luoma was appointed to the board after serving as superintendent of the Grand Rapids schools. He began his professional career as teacher and then a principal for the South Washington County Schools. He retired from his Grand Rapids post in 1999.

“Jim brought the experiences of teacher, principal and superintendent to the governing
board,” said Chancellor James H. McCormick. “He inspired the Minnesota State Colleges and Universities system to develop an intensive internal development program, which became the Luoma Leadership Academy. Now in its fifth cohort, the academy already has proven to be a rich resource for hiring and promoting leaders.”

Luoma began his higher education study at Eveleth Junior College, which is now Mesabi Range Community and Technical College, a part of the Minnesota State Colleges and Universities system. He holds a doctorate from the University of St. Thomas, a master’s degree from Northern State College in Aberdeen, S.D., and a bachelor’s degree from the University of Minnesota, Duluth. Jim Luoma and his wife, Carol, reside in Cohasset.

Each year, the Chair Academy honors exceptional leaders who exemplify and support academic and administrative leadership with the Elsner award. The organization also honors International Exemplary Leaders for exemplifying the best practices of organizational leadership worldwide.

The Chair Academy also gave International Exemplary Leader Awards to the Minnesota State Colleges and Universities system include:

  • Kathleen Bell, academic dean at Century College;
  • Michael Berndt, dean of planning and institutional effectiveness at Normandale Community College;
  • Mary Diedrich, dean of student success, and Jane Reinke, vice president for academic and student affairs, both at North Hennepin Community College;
  • Lorrie Fox, director of nursing at Lake Superior College; Robert Haines, vice president of finance and operations at Ridgewater College;
  • Patrick Johns, president of Anoka-Ramsey Community College;
  • J. Ronald Langrell III, executive vice president of Riverland Community College;
  • Bill Maki, vice president for finance and administration at Bemidji State University and Northwest Technical College;
  • Lori Voss, vice president of administration at Minnesota West Community and Technical College and
  • Dave Weber, chief of strategic operations at Rochester Community and Technical College.


Exemplary teams that were honored included:

  • The Diversity Team from Ridgewater College;
  • The Early Alert Referral System Retention Team from St. Paul College;
  • The President’s Cabinet at Minnesota State Community and Technical College and
  • The Leadership Team from the Northeast Higher Education District.