Sandy Kiddoo begins tenure as President of Northland Community & Technical College


Sandy Kiddoo begins tenure as President of Northland Community & Technical College

Beginning July 1, Kiddoo to be welcomed to campus as Northland's fourth President

Dr. Sandy Kiddoo begins tenure as President of Northland Community & Technical College.

July 7, 2021 – Just in time for fall semester, a new President is at the helm of Northland Community & Technical College. Sandy Kiddoo is ready to hit the ground running as the fourth President of Northland since the East Grand Forks and Thief River Falls campuses merged in 2003. Kiddoo was named to the position on April 21, 2021, by the Minnesota State Colleges and Universities Board of Trustees and was chosen from three finalists after a six-month-long nationwide presidential search.

Devinder Malhotra, chancellor of Minnesota State, shared his confidence in Kiddoo’s ability to lead Northland for the future. “She has a strong track record of exploring new initiatives to provide the services and programs students and industry need for today and tomorrow. I am confident that Northland Community and Technical College will thrive under her leadership.”

Kiddoo comes to Northland from Hazard Community and Technical College (HCTC) in Kentucky. She served as the chief academic officer, providing leadership for academic programming. Kiddoo brings with her a record of success at the community college and technical college level. While at HCTC, Kiddoo developed and implemented a strategic academic master plan, created a long-term facility plan, obtained $9 million in grant funding for a Manufacturing and Construction Center of Excellence, implemented the K-Tech competency-based youth apprenticeship model, and added manufacturing programs that will help stir up the regional economy.

“I came to HCTC as a fresh set of eyes,” states Kiddoo. “I was able to see that the college was in dire need of program alignment and facility upgrades. We were successfully able to add an array of manufacturing programs where we recruited local professionals to serve as instructors. This cooperation will help make sure that the academic offerings are in line with workforce needs and will directly benefit the local economy. I was also able to obtain grant funding to update labs and other learning spaces–some of those updates are still in the works.”

As President of Northland, Kiddoo will lead northwest Minnesota’s largest community and technical college–serving more than 4,000 students in over 80 programs on two campuses and an aerospace site.

In the years prior to HCTC, Kiddoo served as vice president of academics at Mid-State Technical College (WI) from 2015-2018, and the Wisconsin Technical College System from 2007 to 2015 as education director for transportation and electronics, and later as associate vice president of instruction.

She holds a bachelor’s degree from the University of Wisconsin-Green Bay, a master’s from Capella University, and a doctorate from the University of Wisconsin-Madison.

When asked about her goals as the new leader of Northland, Kiddoo explained, “I intend to do a lot of listening, learning, and observing in my first few months as president. I think coming in with a fresh set of eyes and being able to objectively look for ways to move Northland forward is going to benefit the entire college.”

“If someone asked me what I would like to focus on first, it would be getting more students to graduation,” Kiddoo said. “That includes increasing enrollment as well as retaining students semester to semester, and getting students to their goal of completing their credentials.” As with most colleges, enrollment is a top priority, particularly now in the wake of a worldwide pandemic where admission numbers have continued to stagnate.

A native from central Wisconsin, this appointment represents a return to her home region. Kiddoo looks forward to coming back to the Midwest and having the opportunity to explore the area. “I enjoy all sorts of outdoor activities, from kayaking to hiking, and look forward to attending community and college events and getting involved in both of Northland’s communities.”

Kiddoo succeeds Dennis Bona, who served as president of Northland from 2015 to 2020 and retired in December 2020.