Getting started 1977-1979

  Several organizational meetings were held prior to the actual founding of PIN.

The original impetus for discussions to found a multi-country organization was to bring together two-year colleges in Canada and the United States.


Abe Konrad, University of Alberta and Don Morgan, University of Minnesota discussed the need to create a structure to develop professional relationships with two-year colleges in Canada and the United States.

A proposal emerged from these discussions that exploratory meetings be organized in each country at the respective universities involved. The purpose of these meetings would be to see if two-year college administrators — in particular, the CEOs of these institutions — would be interested in creating and supporting a college organization which would bridge the 49th parallel. Konrad was enthusiastic. Support was gained from the respective deans within their universities at both the University of Minnesota and the University of Alberta.
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A reality check was launched immediately to see if this idea would “fly” with on-the-firing-line two-year college administrators.

A “steering committee” was convoked in Minneapolis as a further sounding board. Stanley Sahlstrom, Provost – University of Minnesota – Crookston, Minnesota chaired the meeting.

Those attending were:

  • Don Morgan, University of Minnesota – Minneapolis, Minnesota
  • Stan Sahlstrom, University of Minnesota – Crookston, Minnesota
  • Sister Anne Joachim Moore, President, St. Mary’s Junior College – Minneapolis, Minnesota and then on the AACC Board of Directors
  • John Helling, President, North Hennepin Community College, Brooklyn Park, Minnesota
  • Bill Knaak, Superintendent of the postsecondary 916 Area Vocational Technical Institute – since renamed Northeast Metro Technical College, and since merged and is now Century College, White Bear Lake, Minnesota

The Steering Committee was enthusiastic, but cautious. They accurately reflected the general feeling that the main concerns of two-year colleges are close to home.


August 1, 1978

The Steering Committee in Minnesota was convoked again at North Hennepin Community College. The decision was made to formally investigate support of other institutions located in the center of the U.S. and western Canada. The proposal would be to attempt to form what was then called a Consortium of North American Postsecondary Institutions for Programmed Interactions (CNAPI) – a burdensome title, later dropped in favor of PIN.


September 17-18, 1978

The first meeting to explore the concept and benefits of an association was held at the University of Minnesota. Don Morgan, University of Minnesota and Abe Konrad, University of Alberta, hosted the meeting.  The meeting was attended by:

  • Stan Sahlstrom, University of Minnesota – Crookston, Minnesota
  • Sister Anne Joachim Moore, President, St. Mary’s Junior College – Minneapolis, Minnesota, and on the AACC Board of Directors
  • John Helling, President, North Hennepin Community College, Brooklyn Park, Minnesota
  • Bill Knaak, Superintendent of the postsecondary 916 Area Vocational Technical Institute – since renamed Northeast Metro Technical College, White Bear Lake, Minnesota
  • James Kraby, President, Westark Community College, Ft. Smith, Arkansas
  • Dale Gibson, President, Southeast Oklahoma City Community College, Oklahoma
  • Ervin Glick, President, Hesston College, Hesston, Kansas
  • Rod Steigner, Academic Dean, Nicolet College and Technical Institute, Rhinelander, Wisconsin
  • John Gazda, Vice Chancellor, Kansas City Community College District, Missouri
  • Claire Blikre, President, North Dakota State School of Science, Wahpeton, North Dakota
  • Bert Curtis, President, Confederation College, Thunder Bay, Ontario
  • Ted Ramsey, Program Director, Red River Community College, Winnipeg, Manitoba

The meeting produced several important thrusts. First, those present wholeheartedly and unanimously supported the notion of creating an alliance of Canadian and U.S. institutions. Second, they supported the plans to hold a counterpart meeting in Edmonton to determine the level of support in Canadian provinces not represented at this time. Third, if Canadian support was evident at Edmonton, they would schedule a joint U.S./Canadian meeting. Ted Ramsey of Red River College, Winnipeg, volunteered to host the joint meeting.


October 25-26, 1978

Abe Konrad scheduled the meeting in Edmonton to determine the level of support in Canadian provinces.

Present were:

  • Stan Sahlstrom, University of Minnesota – Crookston, Minnesota
  • Don Morgan, University of Minnesota, Minneapolis, Minnesota
  • Les Morgan, Northern Alberta Institute of Technology, Edmonton, Alberta
  • Ken Gunn, Kelsey Institute of Technology, Saskatoon, Saskatchewan
  • S.R. Gilbert, Capilano College, North Vancouver, British Columbia

Since Manitoba and Ontario had been represented at the Minneapolis meeting, the western Canadian provinces had all been included.

Notes from the Minneapolis meeting were presented to the group convened in Edmonton. All seemed enthusiastic about developments except for the proposed name of the network – Consortium of North American Postsecondary Institutions for Programmed Interactions (CNAPI). Konrad suggested a substitute of Postsecondary International Network (PIN). After discussion, it was unanimously recommended that this name be proposed at the meeting set for January 1979 in Winnipeg.

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January 1979 – In this meeting, the Postsecondary International Network (PIN) was founded.

The winters there are lengthy, even for Canadians, and the hardy folks from North Dakota and Minnesota think twice before going there unnecessarily.”

Undaunted by the locale — and it was cold outside — the pioneers of PIN met at Red River Community College in Winnipeg to see what could be sorted out from previous correspondence and dialogue. The task was to seek agreement on purposes, goals, organization, and procedure; and to test if interest was solid enough to start to flesh out what had so far been just an interesting proposal.


The first order of business was to identify a chair and a recorder. Stan Sahlstrom agreed to chair the proceedings, and Abe Konrad agreed to take notes. It was decided immediately that membership should be by institution rather than individual. It was hoped, but not required, that the CEOs of member institutions would represent that membership at PIN functions. The name Postsecondary International Network, which had been suggested by Konrad earlier, was well received and formally adopted. It was also agreed that there was need for a membership forum which should meet at least annually, and that there should be an Executive Committee to serve as a steering committee. It was agreed that membership should be represented equally by each country, and that each country should elect three members. An election was conducted.


Members of the first Executive Committee were the following:


  • Kenneth Gunn, Kelsey Institute of Applied Arts and Sciences, Saskatoon, Saskatchewan
  • Les Morgan, Northern Alberta Institute of Technology, Edmonton, Alberta
  • Ted Ramsey, Red River Community College, Winnipeg, Manitoba

United States:

  • John Gazda, Metropolitan Community College, Kansas City, Missouri
  • James Kraby, Westark Community College Fort Smith, Arkansas
  • Stanley Sahlstrom, University of Minnesota Technical College, Crookston, Minnesota

Stanley Sahlstrom accepted the position of president of the Executive Committee. Terms were not set at this point.

It had been decided during the discussions that each country should have a single coordinating office maintained by a secretary. Sahlstrom made the motion that these two offices be filled by Abe Konrad of the University of Alberta and Don Morgan of the University of Minnesota. He noted that these two individuals had been key people in getting things rolling, both offered stability in that they were tenured professors and not likely to move, and they were willing.

His motion was carried.


The meeting adjourned on two notes: (1) Konrad accepted the responsibility of drafting a Document of Understanding for the proposed network, and (2) this would be presented at a meeting of those who could attend the April 1979 American Association of Junior Colleges Annual Convention in Chicago.

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Organization of PIN

Document of Understanding

There are obvious commonalities of purpose, programs, curriculum and instruction in technical/community/further education institutions in Australia*, Bahrain*, Canada*, New Zealand*, the United Kingdom*, United States*, and other countries in the world. These commonalities notwithstanding, there have not yet developed a close interaction among the technical/community further education colleges in these countries. A better understanding of educational programs and developments could be mutually beneficial to institutions of each country, and cooperative activities could both improve and extend present educational offerings. Therefore, an alliance of technical/community further education colleges known as a postsecondary International Network (PIN) has been established. (*PIN partners in the year 2009)


The organization of PIN provides for a membership forum and an Executive Committee.

Membership Forum:
The membership forum will be composed of those representatives from member institutions attending the PIN business meeting at the annual PIN international conference. The Forum may make recommendations to the Executive Committee.

Executive Committee:
Membership on the Executive Committee shall consist of those officers elected by the membership forum, namely the President and President Elect, plus the immediate Past President. In addition, full members from each country shall put forward one or more members from different institutions. Members on the Executive Committee should normally be serving CEOs/Presidents of member institutions. The President and President-Elect serve two-year terms.

The Executive Committee will meet at least once a year at which time it will:

  • Plan and develop objectives and activities for the organization;
  • Initiate policies and implement policies of the network;
  • Make recommendations regarding annual membership fees;
  • Review, in context, the participation of PIN members and make decisions about continued memberships;
  • Determine the budget for administrative tasks of the organization;
  • Communicate the decisions taken at its meeting to the membership in semi-annual newsletters; and
  • Facilitate the securing of external resources for PIN projects and encourage members to do the same.

Administrative and Treasurer Support:
The PIN Executive Chair will arrange for the administrative and treasury tasks of the organization to be carried out. It is expected that the PIN Executive Board will seek to facilitate the involvement of staff concerned.

– Amended: June 28, 1999 Annual Business Meeting, Barnsley College, UK.

– Amended: April 6, 2009 Executive Committee Meeting, Queenstown, New Zealand

Article II: Membership

PIN membership is currently open to institutions in Australia, Canada, Netherlands, New Zealand, the United Kingdom and the United States. The Executive Board can approve the membership of additional countries, consequent upon which colleges within that country are eligible for membership. Full membership will be available. All members will be technical/community or further education institutions, publicly or privately funded, or their equivalents.


The minimum criteria for full members are as follows:

  1. The institution should provide evidence that the President (or equivalent) is committed to the “Understanding” as described under “Purpose” of PIN.
  2. The institution should be committed to incorporating an international dimension into existing/future college programs and services.
  3. The institution should pay dues annually at the full rate as set by the PIN Executive Board.

Full members shall be sponsored by a current member and approved by a two-thirds vote of the PIN Executive Board.

Continued membership is dependent on meeting the minimum criteria for each tier and satisfying membership responsibilities as determined by the PIN Executive Board. The membership of PIN shall be limited to 90 institutions.


Full members agree to the following:

  1. Presidents will serve, when elected, as members of the PIN Executive Board and attend meetings of the Board; plan conferences, etc.
  2. Presidents or their designees will attend the annual meeting.
  3. Institutions will participate in the PIN’s programs and projects, at least every other year.
  4. Institutions will contribute to a semi-annual newsletter.
  5. Additional responsibilities may be approved annually by the PIN Executive Board.

Full members will receive the following benefits:

  1. Opportunity for the President to provide leadership through cooperation with other executives to advance the purpose of PIN.
  2. Stipends for faculty projects as approved by PIN.
  3. Leadership programs for students.
  4. College receives on complementary registration for the annual conference.
  5.  Support for research/development projects as supported by PIN.
  6. Opportunity to participate in grant funded projects submitted by PIN.
  7. Semi-annual newsletter and occasional papers on PIN projects.


In recognition of previous service, former presidents of member colleges and former officers of PIN may be invited to be named as honorary members. Honorary members will be invited to attend and participate in meetings, although they will not have a vote. Honorary members will regularly receive mailings from PIN.

Article III: FEES

The membership fees will be established by the Executive Board and collected by the Executive Board Chair.

PIN will:

  1. Assess membership fees annually for full members on January 1;
  2. Collect fees solely for the purpose of furthering the activities of the network; and
  3. Disburse funds to defray costs accrued against the network in a fashion approved by the Executive Board.