Minnesota State Colleges and Universities Board of Trustees has named the next president of the five colleges in the Northeast Higher Education District.

Michael Raich assumes the role immediately. He served as the interim president since 2019. During that time, he has been leading the merging of the five colleges into the district into one accredited college, according to a news release from Minnesota State. That process should be complete by fall 2022.

“Dr. Raich has consistently demonstrated that he is a strategic leader,” Minnesota State Chancellor Devinder Malhotra said. “He understands that in order to move forward, it is important to work in a collaborative, transparent, and authentic manner, and build on a shared vision — a vision that will ensure the success of all students and the region. With Dr. Raich at the helm, the Northeast Higher Education District is well on its way to charting this collective, shared future.”

The district currently consists of five community colleges: Hibbing Community College; Mesabi Range College in Virginia and Eveleth; Rainy River Community College in International Falls; Itasca Community College in Grand Rapids; and Vermillion Community College in Ely.

Before Raich was the interim president, he was the provost and dean of academic affairs and students services at Hibbing Community College. He's also served as the interim provost at Itasca Community College. Prior to his work in higher education, he was a high school teacher, athletic director and principal.

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Malhortra will negotiate a three-year contract with Raich that will take effect July 1.

Bill Maki was the former NEHD president between 2015 and 2019.