Finalists Named for Presidency of Bemidji State University and Northwest Technical College

Minnesota State has named four finalists in the search for the next president of Bemidji State University and Northwest Technical College. The candidates are Allen Bedford, John Hoffman, Darrell Kruger, and Karla Leeper.

The candidates were recommended by a search advisory committee that was comprised of students, faculty, staff, and community leaders, and was chaired by Ginny Arthur, president of Metropolitan State University. The candidates are scheduled to conduct campus visits between Feb. 14 and Feb. 17. The campus visits provide an opportunity for students, faculty, staff, and members of the community to meet each of the candidates and offer feedback. Details of the candidates’ campus visits and the process for providing feedback are available at https://bemidjistate.edu/offices/president/search/ and at https://www.ntcmn.edu/offices/president/search/.

Allen Bedford

Professional Headshot, Allen Bedford
Bedford

Allen Bedford has served Bemidji State University as provost and vice president of academic affairs since 2020 and as associate vice president for academic affairs from 2019 to 2020. Previously, he served Bryn Athyn College (PA) from 1995 to 2019 in several capacities including associate dean for academic affairs in 2010, dean of faculty from 2010 to 2014, and dean of academics and chief academic officer from 2010 to 2017. He served on the faculty of Bryn Athyn College from 1995 to 2019 and as chair of the mathematics and science division from 2004 to 2009. He holds a bachelor’s degree from Bryn Athyn College and a master’s and a doctorate from Temple University. He is scheduled to visit the campus of Northwest Technical College on Feb. 16, and the campus of Bemidji State University on Feb. 17.

Additional information on Allen Bedford:

John Hoffman

Professional Headshot, John Hoffman
Hoffman

John Hoffman has served the University of Minnesota Crookston as acting senior vice chancellor since 2021, and as vice chancellor for academic and student affairs from 2018 to 2021. Previously, he was a faculty member at California State University-Fullerton from 2008 to 2018 where he served as acting chair of the Department of Educational Leadership from 2013 to 2014, director of the Doctor of Educational Leadership Program from 2012 to 2018, and as chair of the Department of Educational Leadership from 2014 to 2018. He also served California State University-Long Beach from 2004 to 2008, Concordia University, Irvine from 1998 to 2004 and Concordia University, St. Paul from 1995 to 1998. He holds a bachelor’s degree from Concordia University, Nebraska, and a master’s and a doctorate from the University of Minnesota. He is scheduled to visit the campus of Bemidji State University on Feb. 16, and the campus of Northwest Technical College on Feb. 17.

Additional information on John Hoffman:

Darrell Kruger

Professional Headshot, Darrell Kruger
Kruger

Darrell Kruger has served Appalachian State University (NC) as provost and executive vice chancellor for academic affairs from 2015 to 2020, special assistant to the chancellor in 2020, and as a full professor. Previously, he served the University of New Orleans from 2013 to 2015 as dean of the College of Education and Human Development and as a full professor; and Illinois State University, Normal from 2002 to 2013 in several capacities including associate dean of the College of Education, and interim associate vice president for research and graduate studies. Previous engagements include the University of Louisiana at Monroe from 1995 to 2002, and Louisiana State University from 1994 to 1995. He holds a bachelor’s degree from the University of Stellenbosch, South Africa, an honor’s degree from the University of Natal, Pietermaritzburg, South Africa; and a master’s and a doctorate from Louisiana State University. He is scheduled to visit the campus of Northwest Technical College on Feb. 14, and the campus of Bemidji State University on Feb. 15.

Additional information on Darrell Kruger:

Karla Leeper

Professional headshot, Karla Leeper
Leeper

Karla Leeper has served Augusta University/Augusta University Health since 2018 as executive vice president for operations, and from 2015 to 2018 as executive vice president for strategic communication and chief marketing officer. She also served Georgia Regents University/Georgia Regents Health System from 2014 to 2015 as executive vice president for university relations and chief of staff to the president and CEO. Previously, she served Baylor University (TX) from 1999 to 2015 in several capacities including vice president of board and executive affairs, chief compliance officer, vice president of executive affairs, and chief of staff to the president. Faculty appointments include Augusta University and Baylor University. She holds a bachelor’s degree from the University of Iowa, master’s degrees from the University of Kansas and Augusta University, and a doctorate from the University of Kansas. She is scheduled to visit the campus of Bemidji State University on Feb. 14, and the campus of Northwest Technical College on Feb. 15.

Additional information on Karla Leeper:


Bemidji State University and Northwest Technical College use a “shared service” model in which a single president serves both institutions and certain administrative functions are shared. Both institutions are accredited separately by The Higher Learning Commission, and both enjoy full accreditation status.

The Board of Trustees of the Minnesota State Colleges and Universities is expected to consider Chancellor Devinder Malhotra’s recommendation at its March 16, 2022 meeting. The anticipated start date of the new president is July 1, 2022.


Minnesota State includes 30 community and technical colleges and seven state universities serving approximately 340,000 students. It is the third-largest system of two-year colleges and four-year universities in the United States.