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Posted: September 14, 2012

College President Dr. Nicholas Rubidge announces retirement

College of the Rockies President and Chief Executive Officer Dr. Nicholas Rubidge announced during the September 13 regular meeting of the College Board of Governors that he will retire from his position in July of 2013.

He asked the board to begin the search for a new president, indicating he would remain in his position until July 31, 2013 unless the board deemed it useful for him to remain longer.  Rubidge informed college employees of his retirement immediately following the board meeting.

“College of the Rockies is an amazing place to learn and work and is highly respected throughout B.C., Canada and the world,” said Rubidge. “This college has a remarkable past and an exciting future.  Its success is due to the passion of our management, faculty and staff for the success of our students.  College of the Rockies truly is a student-centred college where students come first.”

“I believe College of the Rockies is central to the economic development of the communities we serve throughout southeastern B.C.,” continued Rubidge, “but I equally believe the college has always benefited from the tremendous support we receive from our communities.

“It has indeed been my pleasure to serve as president of this outstanding college and its employees in this outstanding region of B.C.”

Rubidge and his wife Pam, who recently retired from her faculty position at Camosun College in Victoria, have been married for more than 40 years.  They plan to split their retirement time between exploring more of the Kootenay region and their home in the Victoria area where their two daughters, sons-in-law and four grandchildren also live.

College of the Rockies Board Chair Orest Federko says Rubidge’s educational and governmental experience will be difficult to replace.  “I know I speak on behalf of all Board members when I say we have been privileged to work with a president as knowledgeable and experienced in so many areas of post-secondary education as Nick,” said Federko.  “We have mixed emotions accepting his notice of retirement.  We congratulate and wish Pam and Nick the best in their next chapter of life, but Nick’s wisdom, counsel and leadership will be greatly missed at College of the Rockies.”

“The board is committed to hiring a replacement prior to Nick’s departure in order to ensure a smooth transition,” continued Federko.  “This will begin with a professional search led by a committee of the Board to identify a pool of candidates to fill the position.”

More details will be available in the coming months.

Rubidge has more than 40 years’ experience in the post-secondary system in B.C., Canada and internationally, including president and CEO of College of the Rockies since April 1, 2001. During his time as president Rubidge has guided the college through exceptional growth both in number of students and in physical space.

Rubidge’s relationship with College of the Rockies goes back much further than 2001 to 1975 when he was one of the college administrators who established a multi-campus college in the East Kootenay region.  That college became East Kootenay Community College which in 1995 was renamed College of the Rockies.

Rubidge’s educational background includes a Doctorate in Adult Education from the University of British Columbia, a Master of Science degree in Agricultural Economics from UBC, and a Bachelor of Science degree from London University in England.

Rubidge possesses a strong background as a research consultant, a program planner and an administrator.  He has participated in a variety of international educational venues including representing Canada on the South East Asia Ministers of Education Organization and participating in Canadian Ministers of Education and Common Wealth Ministers of Education meetings.  Rubidge was the only Canadian selected to participate on an international team of experts chosen to advise on the reconstruction of the post-secondary system in Vietnam (World Bank).  He has provided professional consulting advice to institutions in India, Kenya, China, and Ecuador and to the Government of Ontario.

Prior to accepting his position with the College of the Rockies, Rubidge served as Director of the Colleges and Institutional Planning Branch of the Ministry of Advanced Education Training and Technology in Victoria.  As well, Rubidge was seconded from the provincial government to act as the founding Vice-President of Royal Roads University.

Rubidge has held appointments on numerous boards of various organizations including the BC Centre for International Education, Skills Canada, the Science Council of BC, the BC Centre for Curriculum Training and Transfer, BC Campus Strategic Advisory Committee and the Trades Training Consortium of BC.  He has held the position of Chair for the BC Post-Secondary Employers’ Association and BC Colleges and is presently serving as Chair of the BC Degree Quality Assessment Board.

Rubidge received a Commemorative Medal in 2003 during Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II’s Golden Jubilee in recognition of his significant service to fellow citizens, the community and to the Canadian Crown.

Top:  College of the Rockies President and CEO Nick Rubidge during the grand opening of Kootenay Centre in 2010. Ian Cobb/Through My Eyes Photography

Donna Kraus-Hagerman/COTR

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