Vancouver Island University has started a search for a new president as Ralph Nilson, current president and vice-chancellor, will retire a year from now.
The university confirmed Nilson will step down effective June 30, 2019 and said it has begun a search process with Davies Park, an executive search firm, aiding in the pursuit of a replacement.
According to the university, a presidential search advisory committee has formed per VIU bylaws. Davies Park will facilitate recruiting and subsequently, the committee will hold interviews and evaluate candidates. VIU’s board of governors will make the final decision, the university said.
The committee is accepting input from the community, which will provide guidance while applicants are being considered. The university wants to know what qualities and leadership style the successful candidate should possess.
Nilson has been with the post-secondary institution since 2007, when it was known as Malaspina University-College and it was announced in 2016 that he had been appointed for a third term.
Makenzie Leine, VIU board chairwoman, said Nilson’s retirement is something the university board has known about for some time.
“When he was reappointed in December 2016, it was for a half-term appointment and then it was made clear his intention to retire from the position after that term ended,” said Leine.
Leine said the university isn’t able to comment on whether any internal candidates have applied, due to privacy. She also can’t provide any feedback that has been given so far, as it is early in the process, but it will be compiled.
In addition to that, we’ve worked with our recruiter to develop a stakeholder list and from that … we’ll determine who we’re going to reach out to internally and externally,” said Leine.
She lauded Nilson for his contributions to the university.
“He’s constantly involved in innovative ways to meet the needs of the region that we serve and because of [his] leadership we’ve earned national recognition with initiatives centred around access to education, like the tuition waiver program for former youth in care,” said Leine. “He’s [made] major efforts to build initiatives that further support the process of reconciliation between Canada’s indigenous and non-indigenous peoples and with him, we’ve also earned international recognition.”
The community can e-mail email@example.com to provide input and the committee will accept feedback until Aug. 10.