Riedel will take over at LBWCC

Published 1:42 pm Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Alabama Postsecondary Chancellor Bradley Byrne confirmed Monday that he will recommend Dr. Herbert Riedel to be the next president at Lurleen B. Wallace Community College.

Byrne will make the official recommendation at the state Board of Education meeting Thursday in Montgomery. Riedel, the vice president for instruction and student development at Northeast Texas Community College in Pittsburg, Texas, will also be present at the meeting.

“We had an embarrassment of riches in this particular search,” Byrne said. “We could have picked any one of the three finalists and they would have been outstanding. We were looking for someone who would best fit with the college’s faculty and staff, and also with the various communities that are in the service area, and we really felt that Dr. Riedel was the best fit.”

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Riedel and fellow finalists Dr. Kay Adkins of Columbus, Ohio, and Dr. Raymond Cummiskey of Harrisburg, Ill., interviewed with Byrne for the position Wed., Oct. 29, in Montgomery.

“You could tell, by the way that he answered the interview questions, that Dr. Riedel has a passion for (LBWCC) and for the state of Alabama,” Byrne said. “He really wants to be a part of that college and those communities.”

Riedel said Byrne called him Thursday to inform him that he had been selected to be the next president at LBWCC.

“I was just absolutely ecstatic,” Riedel said. “The college has really been an asset for the community and changed a lot of people’s lives for the better.”

Riedel was selected from a group that initially included 65 applicants. Those applications were vetted through a series of search committee meetings held during the month of October, leading up to live interviews with the committee at LBWCC on Mon., Oct. 27. The five semifinalists who held interviews with the committee were then narrowed down to the final three who were interviewed by Byrne.

“There was a lot of tough competition and a lot of good people who applied for this job,” Riedel said.

If approved Thursday, Riedel will come to Alabama with a varied resume. The son of German immigrants, he was born in Canada and attended the University of Pretoria in South Africa, where he earned his bachelor’s degree.

He returned to Canada for graduate studies, earning his master’s degree from the University of Waterloo in Ontario in 1980, and his Ph. D. in pure mathematics in 1984.

He has held several jobs in administration and teaching, as well as owning a business for six years.

Riedel said his family played an important role in his decision to pursue the opening at LBWCC. He said of Lisa, his wife of 15 years, “she is my best friend.” They have two children, Matthew, 8, and Willie, 12.

Riedel will be ready to take over at LBWCC on Jan. 1, 2009. He will replace interim president Wayne Bennett, who has served in that position since then-president Dr. Ed Meadows left in May to take the same position at Pensacola Junior College.

Byrne will also recommend candidates for president at two other Alabama two-year colleges Thursday. He will recommend Dr. Anne McNutt at Bevill State Community College, and Dr. Darryl Harrison at Gadsden State Community College.