Five semifinalists named for presidency of Saint Paul College

Posted: March 25, 2011

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

The names of five semifinalists for president of Saint Paul College have been submitted to James H. McCormick, chancellor of the Minnesota State Colleges and Universities system. The semifinalists are Linda Baer, Rassoul Dastmozd, Constance Mierendorf, Michael Seymour and Jessica Stumpf.

The semifinalists were recommended by a search committee chaired by Cecilia Cervantes, president of Hennepin Technical College.

Linda Baer is senior program officer for the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. Previously, she served as senior vice chancellor for academic and student affairs at the Minnesota State Colleges and Universities and senior vice president for academic and student affairs and interim president, both at Bemidji State University. Also, she held several positions at South Dakota State University, including director of the Center for Innovation Technology and Entrepreneurship in the Office of the President, university administrative associate for data collection and strategic planning and project director. She has been a professor at Bemidji State University and an assistant professor at South Dakota State University. Baer holds a bachelor’s degree from Washington State University, a master’s degree from Colorado State University and a Ph.D. from South Dakota State University, all in sociology.

Rassoul Dastmozd is vice president of instruction at Clark College in Washington. Previously, he served as dean of the applied technologies division at Eastern Iowa Community College District, department chair of expanded programs at Indian Hills Community College in Iowa, and proto-type labor coordinator and test engineer at Schott Corp. He holds a bachelor’s degree of engineering technology from Southwest Minnesota State University, a master’s degree in education administration from Drake University in Iowa, and a Ph.D. in education and human resources and community college leadership from Colorado State University.

Constance Mierendorf is a senior advisor at Hudson County Community College in New Jersey. Previously, she was president of Sussex County Community College in New Jersey, senior vice president for academic affairs at Raritan Valley Community College in New Jersey, dean of academic affairs at Santa Fe Community College, project administrator at Mierendorf Productions, a faculty member at Minneapolis Community and Technical College and the University of Minnesota; and a corporate trainer and facilitator. She holds a bachelor’s degree, a master’s degree and a Ph.D., all in English, from the University of Nebraska.

Michael Seymour, is vice president of Anoka-Ramsey Community College. Previously, he served the college as provost and chief operating officer, chief financial officer, interim vice president of education services, vice president for administration, and chief information officer and dean. Before that, Seymour served as department leader and grant manager at Riverland Community and Technical College. He has been an affiliated faculty member at St. Cloud State University and a faculty member at Anoka-Ramsey Community College and Riverland Community and Technical College. He holds an associate degree in audio and visual technology, a bachelor‘s degree in television production and a master’s degree in career and technical education, all from Ferris State University in Michigan.

Jessica Stumpf is interim president of Anoka-Ramsey Community College. Previously, she was vice president of academic affairs at Minnesota State College-Southeast Technical, dean of business at Hennepin Technical College, dean of transportation, customized training coordinator, enrollment and marketing coordinator, and business instructor, all at Dakota County Technical College, and business instructor at Century College. She holds an associate degree from St. Cloud State University, a bachelor’s degree in business education from Buena Vista University in Iowa, a master’s degree in business administration from Metropolitan State University, and a doctorate in educational policy and administration from the University of Minnesota.

The new president will replace Donovan Schwichtenberg, who is retiring. The chancellor, along with one to three members of the Board of Trustees and others, will conduct interviews with the semifinalists. McCormick will make a recommendation to the Board of Trustees, which is expected to act on the recommendation at its April 20 meeting.


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