The Cambridge City Council met the new president of Anoka Ramsey Community College and Anoka Technical College during its Nov. 18 council meeting.
Kent Hanson took over as president of the colleges on July 1 and said he has been meeting with different officials and organizations within Isanti and Anoka counties to get the know the communities better.
Anoka Ramsey has campuses in Cambridge and Coon Rapids, while Anoka Technical College is located in Anoka. They are members of the Minnesota State Colleges and Universities system that is comprised of 54 campuses in 47 Minnesota communities.
Hanson explained he has 21 years of experience in community college education. He went to North Dakota State University out of high school and earned a two-year degree in X-ray technician.
“I’m a walking billboard that shows the benefits of a two-year degree,” Hanson said. “The college has had a lot of interim leadership. My goal is to be here for 15 years. I live right off Highway 65 in Blaine, so it’s very easy for me to come to Cambridge.”
Hanson holds a bachelor’s degree in psychology and a doctorate in educational leadership from the University of North Dakota and a master’s degree in human resource administration from Central Michigan University.
Hanson noted the colleges have the lowest tuition in the state of Minnesota. “We are a great start for our students,” Hanson said.
He said the four goals he has as president include:
• Ensure access to an extraordinary education for all Minnesotans.
• Be a partner of choice to meet community and workforce needs.
• Provide the highest value and most cost-effective higher education option.
• Support the collective success of the MnSCU system in serving the state and region.
As for economic impact, Hanson cited the Wilder Research study that estimates the economic impact of Anoka-Ramsey on the regional economy to be $327 million and 3,235 jobs. Based on the number of students and employees, it’s estimated that Anoka Technical College adds $78.5 million and 776 jobs to the local economy.
“We can’t even begin to tell you how happy we are that the college is in Cambridge,” Cambridge Mayor Marlys Palmer said. “The city couldn’t be more proud of the community college, and our association with the college has always been very close and supportive of one another.”
Public Works Director Steve Wegwerth explained during the yearly bridge inspection by SEH that it was found that two of the bearing pads were out of place under the support beams for the south Main Street bridge.
He explained this is caused by the expansion and contraction of the beams.
The repair is to jack up the beams and center the pads back under the end of the support beans. The repair can be done without detouring any traffic.
The council approved a quote in the amount of $4,450 with Redstone Construction for the work to be done the week of Nov. 18.