NIACC announces new president Joel Pedersen
NIACC Stories

North Iowa Area Community College Welcomes Joel Pedersen as New President

North Iowa Area Community College (NIACC) is excited to announce the appointment of Joel Pedersen as its new President, effective July 1. Pedersen will succeed Steve Schulz, who is retiring after more than 10 years of distinguished service to the college.

The selection of Pedersen was the culmination of an extensive search led by a broad-based search committee, which included faculty, staff, students, and community leaders. The committee’s dedication over several months ensured a thorough and inclusive process, reflecting the college’s commitment to excellence and community engagement.

Joel Pedersen

“We are profoundly grateful to the search committee. Their dedication ensured that the most qualified candidates were considered for the role of president at NIACC,” said Cathy Rottinghaus, Board President. “The strength of the candidate pool made the decision challenging, but Joel stood out for his visionary leadership and dedication to community advancement. We are thrilled to have him join our team and lead NIACC into a bright future.”

Pedersen comes to NIACC with a wealth of experience in educational leadership and a deep commitment to community collaboration. His vision for the college emphasizes the importance of education in regional transformation and workforce development.

“I am honored to lead North Iowa Area Community College and excited to work with the college community to achieve the shared vision of transforming our region,” said Pedersen upon his appointment. “NIACC is vital in providing educational opportunities and preparing our workforce for the future. I’m committed to building upon the college’s strong foundation and ensuring its continued success.”

Pedersen has an impressive track record of leadership and innovation in education. As the Chief Administrator of Central Rivers Area Education Agency, he oversaw services for 53 school districts, affecting 64,000 students and managing 550 staff members. His tenure as Superintendent of Cardinal Community School District was marked by significant achievements, including being named the 2020 Iowa Superintendent of the Year and leading the district to be recognized among the Top 150 Workplaces in Iowa for five consecutive years. Pedersen’s leadership has resulted in substantial growth in enrollment, high graduation rates, and the establishment of key initiatives like the Cardinal Area Welding Academy and significant facility improvements, showcasing his commitment to enhancing educational opportunities and community development.

The college community looks forward to the leadership and innovation that Pedersen will bring to his new role. Please join us in welcoming Joel Pedersen as the new President of North Iowa Area Community College.

The mission of North Iowa Area Community College (NIACC) is to enrich lives through comprehensive educational opportunities, a commitment to learner success, community engagement, and leadership. Founded in 1918, NIACC is a nationally-recognized, two-year college located in central North Iowa. With approximately 3,000 career and transfer students, the College has been recognized by the Aspen Institute as a leading community college in the nation. Become a NIACC Trojan today at

North Iowa Area Community College Welcomes Joel Pedersen as New President
To Top