Embattled Rochester community college president resigns

Leslie McClellon
Leslie McClellon.
Courtesy of Rochester Community and Technical College

The embattled president of Rochester Community and Technical College announced her resignation in a letter to students, faculty and staff on Thursday.

Leslie McClellon's letter says she's stepping down because the college community has been diverted from its mission by the focus on her presidency. Her last day will be Jan. 8.

"I cannot and will not put my own personal and professional interests above the mission of RCTC to which I am committed," McClellon wrote. "Under these circumstances, I believe it is in the best interest of the College for me to step down so that the staff and students can move forward focused solely on achieving the mission of RCTC."

Last month, RCTC faculty, staff and students jointly demanded McClellon's ouster in an open letter to the Minnesota State Colleges and University system. They cited concerns over tens of thousands of dollars spent on a centennial celebration amid a budget deficit and concerns the schools accreditation may be in jeopardy.

Faculty union representative Darci Stanford said the academic staff welcomes the departure.

"It will allow them now a chance to heal, have that tension not be there so they can focus on the things that they've been wanting to be able to get done and move forward," Stanford said.

In a statement, MnSCU Chancellor Steven Rosenstone said he plans to ask the Board of Trustees to appoint an interim president and start a search for a permanent replacement, with the goal of having someone in place by the start of the fall semester.

McClellon will move to a new position as a senior system director with MnSCU in Academic and Student Affairs in St. Paul.

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