College hires new president, CEO

David Walls to take over from retiring Nick Rubidge.

David Walls

David Walls

The College of the Rockies has hired a new president and CEO to replace retiring president Dr. Nick Rubidge.

David Walls, the college’s seventh president, will take over on August 19, coming from Saskatchewan Institute of Applied Science and Technology, where he was most recently Provost and Vice President Academic, and had also held the positions of Associate Vice-President Academic and Student Affairs, and Dean of Industrial Training.

During his career, Walls has also held senior positions at the Southern Alberta Institute of Technology (SAIT), including Dean of Energy and Natural Resources, and Dean of Mechanical Trades and Technologies.

“I am delighted to have been selected as the next President of College of the Rockies,” said Walls.  “The enthusiasm and pride for the College exhibited by everyone I met during the selection process was both gratifying and infectious.”

“College of the Rockies has earned a solid reputation for innovation and growth.  I’m excited to have the opportunity and privilege to lead this great institution into a future I have no doubt will be filled with amazing opportunities and interesting challenges,” said Walls.  “I’m looking forward to living and working in this beautiful region of British Columbia and experiencing the wonderful East and Central Kootenay communities served by the College.”

During his time in Saskatchewan, Walls has served as chair of the Board of the Saskatoon Trades and Skills Centre, and as a member of the Boards of the Saskatchewan Academic Health Sciences Network and the International Mining Innovation Institute.

He holds a Master of Science, Welding Technology and Management from Aston University in Birmingham, England, and a Bachelor of Technology, Metallurgy from Brunel University in Uxbridge, England.

Walls will move to Cranbrook with his wife Kathleen, a psychologist. They have three grown children.

“College of the Rockies’ board undertook a comprehensive and inclusive six-month search for our new president,” said board chair Orest Federko. “The board unanimously passed a motion at its June 13, 2013 meeting to offer the position to David Walls on the recommendation of a 16-member search committee which included members from the board, students, senior administration, management, faculty and support staff.

“The focus of the search process was to secure a president with the experience, leadership qualities and vision to build upon College of the Rockies’ achievements and take the innovative spirit of the college to additional heights,” said Federko. “David Walls has displayed to us his passion for post-secondary education and student success, and has given us confidence in his ability to lead a consultative process which will set a strategic course for our future.

“He is a dedicated, successful leader who has served in progressively senior post-secondary positions from instructor to provost and vice-president. He is experienced in strategic management and institutional growth, has led the development of market-driven education and training, is skilled in building innovative partnerships and successful teams, has an entrepreneurial flair and leads with a consultative style,” Federko said.

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