BRENHAM, Texas — Dr. Harold Nolte Jr., a 31-year veteran of higher education and administration, was selected Tuesday by the Blinn College Board of Trustees to serve as the College’s 14th president.
Nolte currently serves as president of Navarro College-Ellis County.
The selection concludes a five month national search that drew more than three-dozen applicants. Nolte will assume the position of president Nov. 1.
“This is the first time in the history of the college that so many people were involved in the process of selecting a president, and we couldn’t be more pleased with the results,” said Douglas Borchardt, chair of Blinn’s search committee and a member of Blinn’s Board of Trustees. “The selection committee had a very strong group to select from, and we’re excited to welcome Dr. Nolte aboard.”
As the search drew to a close, the board identified three final candidates. After one finalist accepted another position, the remaining two candidates were Nolte, and Dr. Edward E. “Ted” Raspiller, provost of Blinn’s Brazos County campuses.
The College announced the finalists Aug. 17, which surpasses the standard 21-day waiting period schools typically observe when announcing only a sole finalist.
In a move to strengthen the campus’ decision-making in the organization and to recognize the growth of the Brazos County campuses, the board elected to name Nolte as college president and to elevate Raspiller to campus president, Brazos County. Hiring both a college president and a campus president are new to Blinn, but according to Board of Trustees President Atwood Kenjura, the bold move made perfect sense.
“We saw a rare opportunity to seize upon Dr. Nolte’s experience in a multi-campus setting and strengths in student leadership and also a chance to capitalize upon Dr. Raspiller’s established ties to community, K-12, university and business partners in Brazos County,” Kenjura said. “At the end of the day, it was a win-win situation for Blinn College.”
Since 2001, Nolte has led Navarro College’s Ellis County campuses in Waxahachie, where most recently he was president.
He oversaw a campus of more than 4,237 students expanding at nearly double digit growth. Blinn’s Fall 2011 enrollment topped 18,156 students, the largest enrollment in the College’s 128-year history.
“I am honored to be part of such a fine institution as Blinn College and look forward to working with the excellent staff and students,” Nolte said. “My family and I are excited about becoming part of the community.”
Prior to his latest service at Navarro College, Nolte was vice president for student development at Kilgore College, district vice president for student services at Edison Community College in Fort Myers, Fla., and he held a previous appointment at Navarro College as vice president for student services.
Nolte’s prior service includes dean of student services, Panhellenic advisor and director of student activities. He earned his Ed.D. in educational leadership from Mississippi State University in 1985.
Raspiller served as provost of Brazos County campuses from 2010-2011 and had previously held executive positions in college leadership, including as departmental chair at Virginia’s Old Dominion University, and interim president and vice president at Wisconsin’s Waukesha County Technical College. His previous service to Blinn included four years as dean of technical and workforce education, from 1999—2003. He earned his Ed.D. in leadership and educational policy studies from Northern Illinois University in 1998.
“I am challenged by the opportunity to move Blinn forward,” Raspiller said. “I have no doubt Dr. Nolte and I can put together a winning team for our students and our stakeholders."