NWC News Desk

Four candidates come to Northwest College in March vying for presidency

Posted February 22, 2008

P O W E L L, W y o. - Northwest College will bring four candidates to campus in March as the search for a new president nears completion.

Traveling from as close as Havre, Mont., and as far away and Tobyhanna, Pa., the final field of candidates includes a community college president, a technical college president, a retired university chancellor and a community college vice president for academic affairs.

All hold doctorates and have experience with many of the issues Northwest is currently facing or will in the near future - reaccreditation, strategic planning, expanding workforce development initiatives, supplementing tax-generated income with private sector fundraising, increasing enrollment and introducing latest technologies for enhanced learning.

Each candidate will spend two days in the interview process. The public is invited to become acquainted with each candidate during an afternoon drop-in session on the first day of their stay.

Joe McCann, president of Williston State College (WSU) in North Dakota, will be the first to visit campus. He's scheduled to be here Monday and Tuesday, March 3 and 4. Community members are encouraged to get to know him during the 2:30-4 p.m. drop-in session on Monday, March 3, in the Orendorff Building Lounge.

McCann has captained WSU since 2000. His rural experience working with 830 students in a community college that serves approximately 17 counties stretched over 20,000 square miles is a stark contrast to his previous job at Tomball College. Located in a northwest Houston suburb, Tomball serves 7,000 credit students in a year. Those numbers compare to Northwest's credit headcount of 1,763 and service area of 12,371 square miles, which encompasses three counties.

He holds a doctoral degree in administration of higher education from the University of Nebraska at Lincoln. His master's and bachelor's degrees are both focused on chemistry, with minors in physics and math. They were awarded at Purdue University in Indiana and the University of South Dakota, respectively.

Robert Musgrove, president of Pine Technical College (PTC) in Pine City, Minn., travels to Park County later that same week. The community can meet him during the 2:30-4 p.m. drop-in session on Tuesday, March 11, in the Orendorff Building Lounge.

Musgrove's presidency at PTC has covered a decade. Current enrollment there is 1,700, which reflects a 25 percent increase in on-campus enrollments over the past nine years. The prior 12 years, he served at Texas State Technical College in Sweetwater, Texas, first as associate dean for special instructional services and then as dean of instruction.

After earning a bachelor's degree in English at the University of Texas at Austin, he went to the University of Virginia at Charlottesville to acquire two master's degrees, one in English and one in English education. Musgrove returned to the University of Texas to complete his doctorate in educational administration.

The third candidate, Alex Capdeville, has devoted nearly three decades to higher education in Montana. He will be available to the public from 2:30-4 p.m. Monday, March 17, in the Orendorff Building Lounge.

Capdeville recently retired as chancellor at Montana State University-Northern in Havre, Mont. In the Montana State University (MSU) system, a chancellor serves in a role comparable to president in other less-integrated systems. Since his retirement from MSU-Northern in late December, Capdeville has been working at MSU-Bozeman, helping the university expand the role of two-year education.

Prior to MSU-Northern, he served 22 years as chief executive officer at the University of Montana (UM) in Helena, where he administered a comprehensive technical college and higher education center of UM. Capdeville's combined tenure at these two schools earns him the distinction as the longest serving chief executive officer in the Montana University System.

His years in the MSU system actually started much earlier. Both his bachelor's degree in vocational education and his master's in curriculum were earned at MSU-N. He was awarded a doctoral degree in administration at Colorado State University in Fort Collins.

The candidate who will travel the farthest distance visits Wyoming last. He is Paul Prestwich, currently in his third year as vice president of academic affairs at Sussex County Community College (SCCC) in Newton, New Jersey. Prestwich, who lives in Tobyhanna, Pa., describes SCCC as a rapidly growing college with more than 3,700 credit students.

The community is invited to meet him from 2:30-4 p.m. Wednesday, March 19, in the Orendorff Building Lounge.

Before moving to the East, Prestwich spent seven years at Northeastern Junior College in Sterling, Colo. He served two years in each of three positions: associate dean for business, mathematics and science; dean of arts and sciences and lastly as dean of academic services.

He started his education track at the University of Northern Colorado at Greeley where he majored in kinesiology. He continued in that discipline, earning a master's degree at the University of Colorado at Boulder. Prestwich's doctoral degree in higher education administration was attained at the University of Pennsylvania.

Questions about any of the candidates' visits can be e-mailed to Heather Kobbe , human resource director at NWC, or by calling (307) 754-6401.