Faculty & Staff SpotlightDr. Ric Dressen

Dr. Ric Dressen

Chairperson Education Doctorate Programs

Dr. Ric Dressen joined the Concordia University faculty at the start of the 2017-18 school year as an Assistant Professor in the Education Doctorate program. He has served as Chairperson since Fall 2018. He concluded his school administrative services in June of 2017 after 25 years as a superintendent and a total of 36 years in administration.

He was superintendent of Edina Public Schools in Edina, Minnesota – a first-ring, upper middle class, professional suburb on the southwest edge of Minneapolis – since July of 2006. Prior to this position and beginning in January 2000, he served as superintendent of Alexandria Public Schools in Alexandria, Minnesota; from 1992 through 1999, he served as superintendent of Waconia Public Schools in Waconia, Minnesota. His administrative career includes principalships in Waconia, Brooklyn Center, and St. Joseph, Minnesota. Dr. Dressen had been an adjunct professor at St. Mary’s University of Minnesota since 2000.

He assisted in creating and then chaired The Superintendency Institute, a gathering of Minnesota superintendents focused on advancing the role of leadership in public schools, and is a recipient of numerous professional awards in leadership and innovation. In 2003, Dressen chaired the Minnesota Finance Reform Task Force at the direction of Governor Tim Pawlenty.
In 2013, the Minnesota Association of School Administrators awarded him their Polaris Leadership Award for his service to the educational leadership of Minnesota. He was president of the Association in 2003-04.

Dr. Dressen serves on the Minnesota Association of School Administrators Board of Directors (St. Paul, MN).  He previously served on a variety of leadership boards including the Board of Governors to the University of St. Thomas School of Engineering (St. Paul, MN) and the Fairview Southdale Hospital Board of Directors (Edina, MN).

Academic/Professional Credentials

  • D. Educational Administration, University of Minnesota, Twin Cities
  • S. and Specialist Degree, St. Cloud State University, St. Cloud
  • A. Elementary Education and Physical Education, Bemidji State University, Bemidji
  • Minnesota Licenses: Elementary School Administration; District Superintendent

Areas Of Focus

Equity and Education, Ethical Leadership, Public Policy, School Design and  Facilities, School Law, Public Policy and Governance, Educational Future Trends, Work/Life Blending, Teaching and Instruction, Public Finance and Time Management


Selected Publications, Experiences, Presentations

  • An Analysis of the Core Competencies for Minnesota Public School Administrators and Practice by School Administrators in Rural School Districts. Research Study 2018.
  • Healthy Leaders and Life. Presentations 2018 and 2019.
  • Enhancing Students’ Success through Learning Spaces. Presentations 2018 and 2019.
  • Superintendents’ Entrance Plans. Presentation 2018.
  • Next Gen Education. Presentation 2016.
  • 21st Century Education Requires a 21st Century Funding Approach. Minnesota School Board Journal (September-October, 2004)