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Tuesday, April 11, 5–7 p.m.

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"This college has fabulous facilities. A teacher cannot ask for a better learning environment."

–Stephen Nesser

President's Council


The President's Council makes important decisions and sets the strategic direction of the College, with input from all staff, faculty and students. The council is comprised of the president, associate vice presidents and the Executive Director of Diversity and Multiculturalism. The group meets weekly.

President Sharon Pierce

Dr. Sharon Pierce
Dr. Sharon Pierce is the president of Minneapolis Community and Technical College. Dr. Pierce has been dedicated to urban education and the mission of community and technical colleges throughout her career. She has served Howard Community College (Md.) as the vice president for academic affairs since 2010; as chair of the Health Sciences Division from 2005 to 2010; as director of the nursing education program from 2001 to 2006; as the nursing course leader from 1993 to 2001; and she was on the nursing faculty from 1990 to 2010. She also served as a practicing nurse from 1978 to 1990. She holds a bachelor’s degree and a master’s from the University of Maryland and a doctorate from Morgan State University (Md.).

Vice President and Chief Academic Officer Gail O'Kane

Vice President and Chief Academic Officer Gail O'Kane Dr. Gail O'Kane worked for the Minnesota State Colleges and Universities system from 2005 to 2011. She went on to serve MCTC as associate vice president for strategy, planning and accountability from 2011 to 2013, and served as interim president of Rochester Community and Technical College from 2013–2014 before returning to MCTC. Gail holds a bachelor's degree in political science from Boston College and a doctorate in neuroscience from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

Vice President of Student Affairs Patrick Troup

Interim Vice President of Student Affairs Patrick Troup Patrick Troup is the vice president of Student Affairs providing vision, leadership and strategic direction for all student affairs functions including recruitment, admissions, orientation, student life, multicultural student services, services for students with disabilities, career and job placement services, and TRIO programs. He is also leading efforts to strengthen college readiness among entering students and transform internal support, resources and processes that lead to student retention and graduation. Patrick came to MCTC from the University of Minnesota, where he held the roles of director of retention initiatives in the Office for Equity and Diversity, director of the Multicultural Center for Academic Excellence and associate director of the Multicultural Center for Academic Programs since 2002.

Chief Information Officer Tiffni Deeb

Chief Information Officer Tiffni Deeb Tiffni Deeb began her career with the Minnesota State Colleges and Universities (MnSCU) system in 1998. Her background includes computer networking, web development, project and portfolio management and information technology leadership. Tiffni came to MCTC in 2012 as director of technical services, and was named chief information officer in 2015.

Vice President Chris Rau

Interim Vice President Chris Rau Chris Rau is the vice president of Finance and Operations. He joined the College in 2007 and previously served as the director of Finance. He has led the Business Office through a number of successful audits and will continue to develop and monitor the College’s budget process to ensure that the proper resources are allocated across the institution. Chris led a number of system-wide initiatives with his fellow business managers that resulted in the alignment of financial communications across Minnesota State Colleges and Universities metropolitan institutions. He holds a bachelor’s degree from the University of St. Thomas, a master of business administration from the University of Minnesota and is also a certified public accountant. He concurrently teaches accounting classes at the College.

Interim Executive Director of Diversity and Chief Diversity Officer Jay Williams

Interim Executive Director of Diversity and Chief Diversity Officer Jay Williams
Dr. Jay Williams leads the MCTC equity, diversity, and inclusion initiatives. Dr. Williams has served the MCTC campus as Sociology and Anthropology faculty, Power of You advisor, a program to recruit and support under-served students, and coordinator for the African American Education Empowerment Program (AME) and Student African American Brotherhood (SAAB). He also piloted the Star Scholar Program, the Avelino Mills-Novoa Fellowship to create financial support for undocumented students to attend college. Similar to his own father’s community service on Minneapolis’ North Side, Dr. Williams has led many philanthropic programs in Chicago, IL, Princeton, NJ, where he earned the New Jersey Governors Award, an award bestowed upon the state’s most philanthropic members. Dr. Williams completed his undergraduate work in Anthropology with honors at Princeton, and completed his doctoral work at the University of Chicago. He frequently presents his research on ethnic identity development at academic conferences and cites his highest goal as making sure our institution works for all students.

Director of Human Resources and Legal Affairs Dianna Cusick

Director of Human Resources and Legal Affairs Dianna Cusick
Dianna Cusick has served as director of Legal Affairs at MCTC from 1996 until the present. In this position, she primarily manages the areas of education and employment compliance, affirmative action and equal opportunity. In July 2014, she also became the chief Human Resources officer. Prior to joining MCTC, she practiced law at the law firm of Foley and Mansfield and also worked as an attorney at West Publishing Company. Dianna graduated with honors from William Mitchell College of Law in 1993 with a Juris Doctorate, and earned her bachelor degree from the College of St. Catherine.

4 Reasons for High School Graduates to Turn to Community College

USNews Image of Students at Computers

"Community colleges offer a lot of flexibility for students who need to balance more than academics."

Discover the four reasons high school graduates may want to consider community college in this US News article.

Read More