Michael Raich grew up on the Iron Range and has spent nearly all of his education career here.
Beginning July 1, Raich is expanding his educational leadership even further - but still at home.
Raich, born in Chisholm and raised in Pengilly, on Wednesday was named Northeast Higher Education District (NHED) interim president.
“Michael Raich believes fully that NHED is uniquely positioned to strategically grow, to enhance services to business and industry in the region, and to provide broader educational opportunities to our students,” said Devinder Malhotra, Minnesota State chancellor in a news release. “He is passionate about our mission of opening the doors of hope and opportunity to all Minnesotans, and he has dedicated himself to the stewardship of the communities in which our campuses are located.”
Raich is a 1985 Greenway High school graduate.
He taught school at Menahga, Minn. and in Hibbing, where he was also principal. During his high school career, he coached softball, golf, cross country and girls’ basketball.
Raich is a graduate of the University of Minnesota Duluth, holds a master’s degree from St. Cloud State University and a doctorate from the University of North Dakota.
At NHED, Raich has served as Itasca Community College interim provost and Hibbing Community College dean of academic affairs and student services. Since 2015, he has been Hibbing Community College provost.
“I guess like I told the chancellor and board of trustees, I am humbled,” said Raich. “I feel good about the chance to work in the region with all five colleges and with business and industry.”
As interim president, Raich will guide NHED’s consortium of colleges, Hibbing Community College, Itasca Community College, Mesabi Range College, Rainy River Community College and Vermilion Community College.
“It’s an opportunity which allows me to work with a good team of people that I know,” said Raich. “We have great leaders, faculty and staff at our colleges and that is such a comforting thing.”
Raich has a track record of collaborating with faculty and industry to develop innovative academic programs that are in high demand, implementing best practices for student success, and forging partnerships with area K-12 schools.
Raich’s appointment, made by the Minnesota State Colleges and Universities Board of Trustees, is for two years.
Raich comes in as current permanent NHED president Bill Maki on July 1 begins a two-year appointment as Minnesota State interim vice chancellor for finance and facilities.
Maki and Raich will return to their permanent roles when Minnesota State selects a permanent vice chancellor for finance and facilities, according to the Minnesota State news release.
Meanwhile, NHED is formulating strategies to address enrollment and financial challenges.
That will be significant part of Raich’s responsibilities in the short-term and over the next two years.
“There’s no question we need to continue the work we’ve been doing collaboratively,” said Raich.
“And we need to be looking at a regional academic plan and structure that keeps us sustainable.”