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WITC names administrator

Wisconsin Indianhead Technical College New Richmond has named Joseph Huftel as its new campus administrator.

"The time was right for me to make this move," Hiftel said in a telephone interview Monday, as he began wrapping up his duties as principal at Phillips High School. "I knew at some point in time I wanted to be part of the technical college system."

The fact that he landed in an administrative role with WITC was an added bonus, Huftel said, because the New Richmond campus has a great reputation across the state.

"It's a first-class operation," he said. "Everything they do is well done and professional. They have the best interest of the students at heart."

Huftel will replace John Hackbarth, who has served as interim campus administrator since October 2004.

The New Richmond campus has been through a long process of identifying its new administrator.

The educational facility offered the post to a candidate last fall, but that person eventually withdrew from the process. Hackbarth said it took WITC four job postings and interviewing rounds before finally hiring Huftel.

"It's becoming more and more normal that interims serve much longer," Hackbarth said in an interview Friday. "It's a long process, because we have a lot of people involved. And timing is sometimes difficult because people have contracts they have to fulfill."

Huftel plans to begin his new position at WITC New Richmond in early July.

Huftel has a master's degree in Educational Administration from UW-Madison, a bachelor's degree in Technology Education, and a Vocational-Technical Associate degree in Heating/Air Conditioning Technology. He is a 1978 graduate of Menomonie High School, Menomonie, Wis.

His professional work experience includes five years with the Dunn County Highway Department, five years as a technology education teacher, and 13 years (1989-2002) as a teacher and assistant principal at the Rice Lake High School, Rice Lake, Wis. Huftel has been principal at Phillips High School, Phillips, Wis., since 2003.

Huftel admitted that it will be a challenge to shift from his role as principal to the role of campus administrator.

"But I'm looking forward to it," he said.