Kent Hanson began serving Monday as president of Anoka-Ramsey Community College and Anoka Technical College.
“Both colleges have a rich legacy of excellence and service to their communities,” Hanson said. “I am thrilled to work with faculty, staff, students and community members to build on Anoka-Ramsey Community College’s and Anoka Technical College’s outstanding programs and services and to strengthen community partnerships.
“Without doubt, the passion and commitment of the faculty and staff to student success has made the difference here and will continue to do so,” Hanson said. “And we all know that preparing students to earn four-year degrees or join the skilled workforce is critically important for Minnesota’s continued economic vitality.”
Hanson said he is grateful for the strong support from community members for both colleges as well dedicated student leaders who are interested in committee work and leadership opportunities. “With all of these ingredients, I see a bright future for the colleges and I will work hard to make it happen,” he said.
To begin, Hanson said he plans to do a lot of listening. “My approach to leadership is to be open and collaborative,” he said. “I invite everyone to share ideas for the future direction of the colleges.”
Hanson served as interim president of Riverland Community College since August 2012. Previously, he served nine years as provost and vice president for academic and student affairs at Northland Community and Technical College and 12 years at Northwest Technical College, first as radiology program director from 1991-99 and then as health and human services dean from 1999-2003.
Steven Rosenstone, chancellor of the Minnesota State Colleges and Universities system, said in February when Hanson was appointed: “Kent is a passionate educator who is excited and energized by the potential of these aligned colleges. At both Riverland and Northland Community and Technical College, he proved himself to be a naturally skilled leader committed to student success and the mission of community and technical colleges. He is clearly the right person at the right time for the Anoka colleges.”
Hanson holds a bachelor’s degree in psychology and a doctorate in educational leadership from the University of North Dakota and a master’s degree in human resource administration from Central Michigan University.
Anoka Technical College and Anoka-Ramsey Community College were officially aligned July 1, 2011 and together the institutions (three campuses) serve more than 16,000 learners – the largest community and technical college entity in Minnesota. Anoka Technical College offers more than 35 career programs including certificates, diplomas and associate in applied science degrees designed to lead immediately to rewarding, in-demand careers. Anoka-Ramsey Community College, with campuses in Cambridge and Coon Rapids, provides liberal arts and transfer programs, as well as career-track programs and offers more than 100 certificate and degree programs.