Northwest Technical College seeking successor to interim dean Griggs

Bemidji State University and Northwest Technical College will immediately name a temporary on-campus leader for NTC and seek a permanent replacement for Bob Griggs, who has been interim dean of the college since 2014, President Faith Hensrud announced.

A high-resolution photo of Griggs is available by clicking the photo above.

Griggs, who also has served as vice president for innovation and extended learning for both BSU and NTC, is leaving Bemidji to become president of Southeast Technical Institute in Sioux Falls, S.D. He will start there on Sept. 1.

He has worked at Bemidji State since 2000, when he became dean of distance learning and summer session. Over the next 11 years he led a variety of initiatives, including online and on-campus degree-completion programs.

In 2011-12, Griggs served President Richard Hanson as interim vice president for academic affairs before being named vice president for innovation and extended learning. Then, in 2014, Hanson asked him to take on the additional role of interim dean for NTC.

Griggs has been active in building NTC’s role as a regional hub for workforce development, partnering with Beltrami County, the Minnesota Innovation Institute, the Bemidji Area Chamber of Commerce and others.

Hensrud, who became president of both BSU and NTC on July 1, said Griggs has made a sizable impact on the university, the college and the region as a whole.

“His strategic contributions to our schools, deep commitment to student success and cool-headed response to challenges are among many reasons he will be missed — at BSU, at NTC and in the greater Bemidji community,” she said.

Hensrud said Griggs has provided steady on-campus guidance for NTC, helping lead such initiatives as reinvention, a two-year reassessment of college needs and priorities in 2013-14, and a successful bid for reaccreditation of the school’s academic programs, completed in May.

“Leading by example with hard work and open communication, he quickly established a rapport with NTC faculty and staff and has motivated BSU colleagues to become more fully invested in the college,” she said.

Griggs said the decision to accept the position at Southeast Tech, one of four public technical colleges in South Dakota, was a difficult one, particularly because he believes Hensrud will be a “tremendous president” who makes NTC a high priority.

“I am extremely proud of the work we have accomplished to date,” he said, “and although there remains much work to do, the college is on a very positive course.”

Hensrud said she expects to meet this week with other BSU-NTC administrators to plan rapid selection of an interim campus leader for NTC, determine the scope of responsibility for Griggs’ successor and plan a national search for a permanent hire as soon as possible.

The process of choosing a permanent replacement will involve community representatives and include opportunities for employees and the public to meet and share input on finalist candidates, she said.


MNState-75x150Northwest Technical College, located in northern Minnesota’s lake district, is an open, inviting technological learning organization. For more than 40 years, the college has valued life-long learning and the worth and dignity of all people. The college serves 900 students with a high-quality education, an open-enrollment policy and affordable tuition. NTC offers nearly 60 degree, diploma and certificate programs in areas such as business, health, human and protective services and environmental and industrial technology. Classes are offered on the Bemidji campus, online, or as a combination of both. NTC is a member of the Minnesota State system of colleges and universities.