The College of St. Scholastica in Duluth has enlisted a Twin Cities community college president to serve as its next top leader.

Barbara McDonald, who leads North Hennepin Community College, will take over the top job at the private nonprofit St. Scholastica in August. The college said Colette Geary, its president since 2016, is leaving to spend more time with family.

McDonald is retiring from the Minnesota State Colleges and Universities system after 22 years as a faculty member and administrator at Rainy River Community College, Itasca Community College, Minnesota West Community and Technical College and North Hennepin, which she has led since 2015.

"Dr. Barbara McDonald is a visionary leader whose wide-ranging experience and student-centered approach make her the right person to lead The College of St. Scholastica," Christopher Dolan, chairman of the St. Scholastica board of trustees, said in a statement.

St. Scholastica serves about 1,700 undergraduate students on its Duluth campus, with another 2,300 nontraditional students attending graduate, online and other programs.

McDonald began her undergraduate studies at St. Scholastica and later transferred to the University of Colorado. She also has a master's degree from the American University in Cairo and a doctorate of education from the University of Minnesota.

Mila Koumpilova • 612-673-4781