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Amy Dalrymple, Forum News Service, Published October 10 2010

Higher Education Notebook: Offutt retires from Board of Regents

Longtime Concordia College Board of Regents member Ron Offutt has retired from the board after 20 years.

Offutt, a 1964 Concordia graduate, served as chairman for 11 of those years.

Interim President Paul Dovre said Offutt made significant contributions to the 26-member board that governs the college.

“I think Ron’s gifts are considerable,” Dovre said. “One of them is his ability to see the big picture. That’s really so important to a board like ours.”

Offutt is founder and chairman of R.D. Offutt Co. and RDO Equipment Co.

Concordia announced last month that the business college will be named the Offutt School of Business. Offutt contributed the lead gift toward $37 million that has been raised so far.

“If he endorses an idea, he also supports the idea in tangible ways,” Dovre said.

Offutt, who was in China last week and unavailable for comment, will continue to be involved at Concordia, including serving on the national advisory council for the Offutt School of Business, Dovre said.

It’s unusual in the “modern era” for a member to serve 20 years, Dovre said.

The board now has three-year term limits, and members can serve a maximum of three terms. When Offutt joined the board, term limits were longer.

The new chairman for the board is David Solberg of Billings, Mont., a 1965 Concordia graduate. He is owner and operator of Seven Blackfoot Ranch Co., with ranching and farming interests in Montana and South Dakota.

A chairman typically serves for two years, but Solberg will only serve for one, Dovre said. Solberg is in his ninth and final year of service on the board.

Candidates share views

The three major candidates for Minnesota governor share their views about higher education in taped interviews available on the Minnesota State Colleges and Universities website.

The candidates, Democrat Mark Dayton, Republican Tom Emmer and Independent Tom Horner, answered questions from a student leader and the MnSCU board of trustees chairman.

The candidates offered their views on tuition, budget priorities, online learning and other higher education issues.

The interviews are available at www.fan.mnscu.edu/electionguide/video.html. They also will be aired at campus events this fall.

MSCTC breaks ground

Minnesota State Community and Technical College in Moorhead will break ground at 3:30 p.m. Wednesday on a 26,000-square-foot library and classroom addition.

The $5.4 million project is funded by the Minnesota Legislature. Construction on the two-story expansion is expected to be completed in December 2011.

The project will add 10 new classrooms for the college of more than 3,000 students. It also will nearly double the amount of library space.

Readers can reach Forum reporter Amy Dalrymple at (701) 241-5590 or adalrymple@forumcomm.com