Rochester community college names interim leader

Joyce Helens
Joyce Helens
Courtesy of Minnesota State Colleges and Universities

Joyce Helens, president of St. Cloud Technical and Community College, will run Rochester Community and Technical College while officials seek a permanent replacement for Leslie McClellon, who resigned under pressure last month.

Helens' appointment is effective Saturday and she's expected to be in Rochester until this fall, officials with the Minnesota State Colleges and Universities system said Thursday. Helens is also expected to chair an advisory committee searching for a permanent replacement to lead the school.

The appointment comes after Rochester faculty, students and staff demanded McClellon's ouster, citing concerns over tens of thousands of dollars spent on a centennial celebration amid a budget deficit and concerns the school's accreditation may be in jeopardy.

In a statement, MnSCU Chancellor Steven Rosenstone described Helens as the ideal person to guide RCTC through this transition.

"She is a thoughtful and effective leader who works collaboratively with students, faculty, staff, and community partners to get things done, Rosenstone said, adding, "Her deep experience means that she will be ready on day one to help RCTC prepare for the search and recruitment of its new, permanent president."

Helens and Rosenstone will meet with RCTC faculty and students Friday.

Peg Shroyer, vice president of academic affairs at St. Cloud Tech, was named to serve as acting president there while Helens leads Rochester.

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