Globetrotting Riedel says LBW would be good fit

Published 9:40 pm Thursday, October 23, 2008

Editor’s note: This is the third in a series of stories on the five semifinalists for the presidency of LBWCC.

Dr. Herbert Riedel has done his share of globetrotting in his life, everywhere from Canada to South Africa to Texas. His next stop could be Andalusia.

Riedel, the vice president for instruction and student development at Northeast Texas Community College, in Mt. Pleasant, Texas, is one of the five semifinalists vying for the open position of president at Lurleen B. Wallace Community College.

“I’ve been in community colleges for many years,” Riedel said. “I started out working at a major four-year research university and when I was leaving to go to work at a community college, my friends at the university were saying, ‘We’re doing world class research here and we’re going to change the world.’ My response was that I know that in the community college system I can also change the world — it’s about changing the lives of our students.”

Riedel was born in Canada and attended the University of Pretoria in South Africa, where he earned his bachelor’s degree in mathematics and physics in 1979. 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.

Riedel’s work background is a varied one, including jobs in administration and teaching, as well as owning a business for six years. The majority of his career has been spent in the southern United States, including his current position at NTCC, a position he has held since 2005.

“I feel like I have a broad background and experience in a variety of areas,” Riedel said. “I feel that not only can I provide leadership, but I can also help to promote and encourage leadership at all levels in the college. At NTCC, I’ve helped partner with larger universities and local businesses to help make our college the best it can be — no college can stand by itself.”

Riedel said he is proud of several of his accomplishments at NTCC. He has helped to set up a regional bus service for students, a Regional Advanced Manufacturing Academy and the Carroll Shelby Automotive Technology program.

“We have a college farm, where we’ve got students growing food and raising beef cattle that we’re going to use in the school’s culinary program,” Riedel said. “That’s an example of how several different departments and programs can come together for the good of the college. Now, I’m not going to say that the same thing would be appropriate or would work at (LBWCC), because the college has its own personality.

“But what I would do is work with the college, and help it find its focus and vision so that it can be an award-winning institution that is the pride of its community.”

Riedel currently lives in the small town of Pittsburg, Texas, with his family. His wife, Lisa, is a research chemist and currently a stay-at-home mother. They have two sons, Willie, 12, and Mattie, 8.

“My wife and I are also looking for a good place where we can settle with our two young boys,” Riedel said. “It strikes me that the area where (LBWCC) is would be a good place to raise a family. If selected, I’m looking forward to raising our kids in a nice community and being a part of the community as well.”