Jodi Landgaard trades VP role at Minnesota West for one at Dakota Wesleyan University
“It's bittersweet to leave Minnesota West after all these years, and I've had many wonderful opportunities here.”
WORTHINGTON — After 16 years at Minnesota West Community and Technical College, Jodi Landgaard’s last day as vice president of finance and facilities will be July 31, as she has accepted a position at her alma mater, Dakota Wesleyan University.
“It's bittersweet to leave Minnesota West after all these years, and I've had many wonderful opportunities here,” Landgaard said. “I’m very excited about continuing that work with Dakota Wesleyan, and I’m just happy that Dakota Wesleyan is willing to welcome me back there to serve in the same capacity.”
Landgaard will begin her work as the university’s vice president of finance and administration on Aug. 1. The position includes leading the business services team, facilities, IT, human resources, financial aid and more. She will also be part of the DWU’s President’s Cabinet, a leadership team responsible for all university operations.
Her time at Minnesota West included a year as interim executive vice president, as well as eight years as the college’s director of financial aid and two years as an adjunct instructor. Landgaard has also served as a project manager for Prairie Holdings Group, Circle C Foods, Express Personnel and Citibank.
She earned a Master of Business Administration degree from the University of South Dakota and a bachelor’s degree in business administration from Dakota Wesleyan.
Landgaard said the best thing about working at Minnesota West has been seeing the success of the students every year.
“I think at this time of year, especially with graduation, it’s especially rewarding to see all the things we do behind the scenes to help our students succeed,” she added.
Landgaard’s 27-year career includes management of a $25 million annual operating budget, management of major construction projects, collaboration with regional industry partners to promote enrollment strategies and reduce student debt, leadership and direction for two capital bonding projects, financial and facilities operation for five campuses with 250 total employees, and a well-rounded approach to leadership.
“Under Jodi’s leadership, the college has experienced sound fiscal stewardship and calculated investment,” said Terry Gaalswyck, president of Minnesota West. “Jodi has served as a strong advocate and highly skilled leader in aligning institutional resources with the call placed upon us to advance the economic and social mobility of area families through education and training. In the past 6 years, the strategic investments in programs, services, and facilities has yielded stronger enrollments, industry-aligned programs and enhancements to our student services.”
Gaalswyk asked community members to help spread the word of the newly-vacant position, as the search for a successor will be “thoughtful and exhaustive.”
“I know that they will find someone that's dynamic and passionate about higher education and students, and I hope that's the person they get,” Landgaard said. “That's really the legacy I'd like to carry on — ensuring our students succeed day in and day out. And I think they will find that person.”
Landgaard is married to John Landgaard, superintendent of District 518, who has said he does not intend to retire at this time, and noted he has a year left on his contract with the school. They have three adult children.
“It’s a testament to the quality of DWU that we have attracted and retained someone with Jodi’s experience. She will immediately provide a positive impact on campus, including within our leadership team, as she brings a wealth of experience to the work, as well as the proven ability to lead,” said Dan Kittle, DWU president.
The Mitchell Republic, Mitchell, South Dakota, contributed to this story.