John Centko named provost, vice president at Northwest Technical College

John Centko, dean of academic affairs at Minnesota State Community and Technical College, has been named provost at Northwest Technical College. His duties will begin in early June.

Centko has worked at what is now Minnesota State Community and Technical College (MSCTC) since 2000, overseeing and developing technical and trades programming. As dean of academic affairs, Centko has worked primarily at MSCTC’s campus in Moorhead,  but he has responsibilities for the college’s other campuses in Detroit Lakes, Fergus Falls and Wadena. Since he began as dean, enrollment at the college’s Moorhead campus has grown from 1,500 to 3,700.

From 2000-03, Centko was dean of manufacturing, information technology and transportation at Northwest Technical College when it had five campuses in Bemidji, East Grand Forks, Moorhead, Detroit Lakes and Wadena. He also taught briefly as a graduate student in the Department of Industrial Technology at Illinois State University; worked in several roles at Northern Michigan University; and worked for Northwest Airlines and Northwest Airlink.

“John has experience in the state colleges and universities system and has developed consistently strong community and industry relationships in his varied roles,” said Dr. Richard A. Hanson, president of Bemidji State University and Northwest Technical College. “His high-energy approach will provide a strong direction for Northwest Technical College and help raise its profile, both in northern Minnesota and beyond. I am also confident that his leadership will be instrumental as we seek to leverage the full potential of Northwest Tech’s alignment with Bemidji State University.”

Centko said he is honored to have been selected for the position.

“I know the college has a long history of providing quality technical education to the region,” Centko said. “The area has unique qualities, and I look forward to meeting with community and industry leaders to share my vision on how each can have a direct impact in strengthening and growing Northwest Tech in addition to meeting area workforce needs.”

Centko’s activities in the Fargo/Moorhead area include a position on the Home Builder’s Education Association’s education committee and serving as chair of the education, training and workforce development subcommittee and on the public affairs committee for the Fargo Moorhead West Fargo Chamber of Commerce.

Centko holds an associate’s degree in technical drafting and a bachelor’s degree in industrial technology, both from Northern Michigan University, and a master’s degree in industrial technology from Illinois State University. He is a doctoral candidate in education at North Dakota State University.