Anoka Technical College has appointed James “Jim” Clark as a dean of academics, bringing over 20 years of higher education experience as an instructor, researcher and administrator to the two-year technical college.
“Jim’s genuine affinity to teaching and learning, his strength in research and his familiarity with technical education will help shape how Anoka Technical College delivers technical education and how students learn and succeed,” said Dr. Cathi Gatewood, vice president of academic and student affairs at Anoka Technical College.
“We are fortunate to have found someone with his caliber of experiences, heartfelt passion and vision to lead the college from great to excellent.”
According to Clark, his passion for lifelong learning and helping people unveil their own desires to change the world led him to higher education.
He began his role as a dean on June 1 and set his sights on defining the academic programs to ensure they are at the forefront of a diverse, global and constantly changing world; assembling faculty leadership opportunities so students have access to the highest quality of teaching; and broadening partnerships with industries to ensure the education at Anoka Technical College exceeds industry demands and standards, Clark said.
“I have found a dedicated group of faculty, staff and administration since I arrived,” he said.
“With this kind of team and the strongly supportive community, I believe we have the opportunity to shape Anoka Technical College into the premier technical institution in Minnesota.”
As one of two academic deans, Clark oversees the allied health, nursing, certified nursing assistant, science, general education and counseling departments.
Clark said he accepted the dean position because it was a great opportunity for him to transition from teaching college students to providing leadership, facilitating change and connecting people in a two-year college.
Prior to Anoka Technical College, Clark was the interim dean of academic affairs and chief academic officer at Northwest Technical College (NTC) in Bemidji.
During his 12-month assignment he promoted a pilot program that redesigned the remedial education experiences at NTC, created articulation agreements and consortiums with other colleges and universities and re-invigorated industry training partnerships in accounting and trade programs.
His resume includes spearheading a collaboration of green energy industry partners and the building trades programs at NTC to establish a new Center for Sustainable Environment Technologies.
A landscape architect and agriculture economist by training, his career profile includes in-depth research projects in landscape, planning and design, ecological systems and in computer systems modeling.
He has published nine referred journal publications and design competitions and 15 research and consultancy reports.
Clark began his career in higher education in 1986 as a graduate research assistant at Texas A&M University and later at the University of Arizona.
In the late 1980s he got his teaching opportunity at the University of Melbourne in Melbourne, Australia.
His career then took him to Mississippi State University, North Dakota State University and Northland Community and Technical College before landing at NTC.