Opatz Appointed Ridgewater Interim President 18 May 17

WILLMAR — Joseph Opatz, a retired college administrator and former state legislator, will be Ridgewater College’s interim president for the next school year.


The 64-year-old Opatz was appointed to the post Wednesday morning at the Minnesota State Board of Trustees meeting. He will join the college officially July 1.

Current President Doug Allen will be leaving the college when his contract expires June 30. The college system did not renew his contract. Allen has been Ridgewater president since 2003.

According to a news release from Minnesota State, a search for a new president will begin this fall, and the plan is to have a new president on campus for the 2018-19 academic year.

Opatz holds a doctorate in higher education from the University of Minnesota; a master’s degree in counseling and student personnel from Kent State University; and a bachelor’s degree in psychology from St. Cloud State University. He was a member of the Minnesota House of Representatives from 1993 to 2005, representing the St. Cloud area.