Minnesota State Community and Technical College announced UMN Crookston Program Director and Criminal Justice Faculty member Dr. Matthew Loeslie will become the Founding Dean for the Inaugural School of Applied Technology at Minnesota State Community and Technical College. Loeslie will be based in Detroit Lakes, Minn., but will serve over several programs on M State’s campuses which include Detroit Lakes, Fergus Falls, Moorhead, and Wadena.

Photo of Matthew Loeslie

Loeslie has spent the last five years as Program Director and a Criminal Justice Faculty for the Humanities, Social Sciences, and Education Department. He was awarded UMN Crookston’s Outstanding Educator Award in 2017. Loeslie earned a Doctor of Criminal Justice from California University of Pennsylvania, a Master of Arts in Criminal Justice Leadership from Concordia University-St. Paul, a Bachelor of Science in Sociology from South Dakota State University and a Law Enforcement certificate from Minnesota West Community and Technical College.

Loeslie reflects fondly on his time at UMN Crookston and the accomplishments of the program over the past five years. “Reflecting back on my time here, one of the key accomplishments as a criminal justice program was developing a one-page strategic plan,” Loeslie stated. “We had a number of items in there, but I think the most meaningful for the students specifically was our focus on increasing the leadership capacity of our students. Leadership development is what is needed in today's workforce.”

Loeslie is also proud of being able to launch the program online. “Another accomplishment was getting the criminal justice program online,” Loeslie said. “I think sometimes people think you flip a lever and the program is online.The process includes many steps including writing proposals and completing feasibility studies. Ultimately it goes to a vote at the department level, faculty assembly, and even the Board of Regents vote. We had a positive vote at the Board of Regents to get our program online. As a result, we can now serve two different demographics. We can serve the traditional high school graduates and working adults.”

The Criminal Justice Student of the Year award was created to honor the top students in the program. Loeslie believes it has been a great addition for the students and has become something they compete for. “The award has been a fun way to honor students who do an exceptional job and are deserving of the award. We give the award to only one student a year, yet the award gives the recipient an advantage when they are job seeking.”

Loeslie is most proud of being able to get students ready for the workforce by giving them the tools to solve complex problems. “We give our students the capacity to understand the problems and help be part of the solution,” Loeslie remarked. “A lot of what we do in the classroom is problem-based learning. In the classroom, we assign work individually, small groups and then dissect it as a class. I feel like that method of learning has been a huge advantage to our students going out into the real world.”

It will be bittersweet for Loeslie to depart UMN Crookston as he has developed bonds with students, faculty, staff and within the community of Crookston during his time here. “It will definitely be the friendships and students,” Loeslie stated regarding what he will miss the most about UMN Crookston. “Crookston and the University of Minnesota have been a blessing to me and my family. I have built a lot of relationships and will miss having the daily interactions with my friends, co-workers and students.”

His position will help him get back to his community college roots. Prior to his arrival at UMN Crookston, Loeslie served at Minnesota West Community and Technical College. I look forward to the hands-on focused education that the community college offers.”

Loeslie also gained lessons in leadership at UMN Crookston that he will take into his new role at M State. “I had great leadership mentors here at UMN Crookston. I have learned a lot of lessons from them as leaders and appreciate their support and guidance.” 

Loeslie will finish his time as Program Director at UMN Crookston at the end of the month and will begin his role at M State July 1. While his time will soon come to a close, he knows he will continue to work with UMN Crookston in different ways. “I look forward to partnering with UMN Crookston in the future, but in a different capacity, ” Loeslie said.

 “It’s really hard to see Dr. Loeslie go, but it has also been deeply rewarding to watch him advance in leadership during his time at UMN Crookston,” said Vice Chancellor for Academic and Student Affairs John Hoffman. “Our program has advanced and we are better positioned to serve our students going forward because of his time with us. I know that he will do great things at Minnesota State CTC, and honestly, I expect him to advance higher in leadership in the years to come.”

Story Contact: Shawn Smith