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Building a bright future at Minnesota West

New Minnesota West Community and Technical College interim president, Dr. Barbara McDonald (left), met with faculty, students, staff and community leaders and spoke Monday about her new role at Minnesota West. Erin Trester/Daily Globe

WORTHINGTON — Dr. Barbara McDonald, Minnesota West Community and Technical College’s new interim president, visited the school’s campus Monday to give a brief presentation about her new role.

Faculty, students, staff and community leaders flocked to meet the new interim president and give her a warm welcome to both Minnesota West and Worthington. McDonald will visit each of Minnesota West’s campuses over the next few days.

Minnesota State Colleges and Universities (MnSCU) Board of Trustees member David Paskach began the presentation by commending outgoing Minnesota West president Richard Shrubb.

“On behalf of the entire board, we thank Dr. Shrubb for his six years of service as president,” Paskach said.

Paskach noted that during Shrubb’s leadership, Minnesota West has achieved one of the highest graduation rates in the state. Minnesota West was named one of the top 50 community colleges in the nation during Shrubb’s tenure.

Paskach then introduced McDonald and described her as being well prepared for this responsibility.

McDonald has served at Itasca Community College in Grand Rapids since 2000. She currently serves as provost, a post she has had since 2013.

Prior to her tenure at Itasca Community College, she served as faculty member and assessment coordinator at Rainy River Community College.

“I’m very excited to be serving as your interim president in the coming year,” McDonald told the public. “It will be a journey for all of us — a transition year as we prepare for a very bright future and for a new president — and I’m very happy to help you with that work.”

McDonald expressed a desire to hear public feedback on what should be prioritized for the college to move forward.

“I want to hear your opinions and how we can work together as a team to build a bright future for Minnesota West,” McDonald said. “Education, teaching and learning is what we do. It’s what we believe in, and it’s what we’re passionate about.

“Our students are at the center of our decisions and everything we think about.”

She also spoke about her long love for and understanding of rural Minnesota.

“I’m very familiar with rural Minnesota,” she said. “I love out-state Minnesota … the campuses that I’m serving right now span about 12,000 square miles, so I’m very familiar with the rural need and communities.”

After her brief presentation, McDonald met with citizens to answer questions about what lies ahead.

“I want to engage the campus community and start conversations about aspirations for Minnesota West, and to set the stage for the next president,” she said. “I definitely won’t be sitting still.”

McDonald will be visiting the Canby and Granite Falls campuses today to give presentations and meet with the public.

Daily Globe Reporter Erin Trester may be reached at 376-7322.

Erin Trester
Erin Trester is the crime and city reporter for the Daily Globe. She's a native of Lewiston, MN, but moved to Buffalo, NY to attend college and obtained her bachelor's degree in Communications. She started at the Western New York Catholic Newspaper as a reporter in Buffalo, but in October 2013 she returned to her home state to start with the Daily Globe. Most of her spare time is taken up by her 13-year-old thoroughbred named Faith, but some of her other hobbies include reading, fishing and spending time with friends and family. 
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