Craig Johnson named new Ridgewater president

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WILLMAR – Craig Johnson has been chosen as the new president of Ridgewater College.

The Minnesota State Colleges and Universities Board of Trustees announced his appointment Wednesday morning.

Johnson is currently executive director of the South Dakota Public Universities and Research Center in Sioux Falls.

He was among three candidates who visited the college’s Willmar and Hutchinson campuses in March.

“Dr. Johnson possesses both the professional experiences and personal qualities that will make him a truly outstanding leader for Ridgewater College, notably his open and transparent leadership of multi-campus institutions in rural, agricultural settings in three states,” Minnesota State Chancellor Devinder Malhotra said in a news release.

Johnson has 30 years of experience in higher education and has served in his current job since 2014. Previously, he served in administrative positions with Winona State University in Rochester, Moraine Park Technical College in Wisconsin, and at the University of Minnesota in Minneapolis.

He holds a bachelor’s degree from the University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point, a master’s from Tulane University, and a master’s and a doctorate from the University of Minnesota.