In a truly novel budget cutting measure, two Minnesota state colleges, Anoka Technical College and Anoka-Ramsey Community College, will now share the same president. According to a press release by the Minnesota State Colleges and Universities system:

To better serve students in the northern suburbs and the Cambridge area, Anoka Technical College and Anoka-Ramsey Community College will realign under one president by next fall, James H. McCormick, chancellor of the Minnesota State Colleges and Universities system, said Thursday.

A search for a new president to lead the two aligned colleges will begin immediately and will be led by Keith Stover, president of South Central College. Both Anoka-Ramsey Community College and Anoka Technical College have interim presidents.

McCormick explained that the plan wasn’t actually to merge the two colleges. Having one person run both schools, however, would “create efficiencies in administration and better coordination of programs for students.” Apparently “Partnerships with business and industry in the area also will be enhanced,” McCormick said vaguely.

Minnesota is not the first state to attempt this sort of thing. Back in December Rhode Island decided it could save a six-figure salary by simply hiring the president of the state community college system, Raymond M. Di Pasquale, to be Rhode Island’s higher education commissioner. Di Pasquale, however, retained his community college job; he now serves as his own boss.

Both of the Minnesota colleges grew out of vocational programs at local high schools.

Daniel Luzer

Daniel Luzer is the news editor at Governing Magazine and former web editor of the Washington Monthly. Find him on Twitter: @Daniel_Luzer