RDC President & CEO Joel Ward to retire in 2019

By Josh Hall (Twitter: @Vancan19)
September 13, 2018 - 5:15pm

The President and CEO of Red Deer College will step aside by the end of 2019.

Joel Ward announced his impending resignation Thursday in front of faculty, administration and board of governors members.

The search has already begun for his replacement.



Ward, who has spent roughly a decade in his current role, turns 67 next week and said the institution needs someone new during its transition to university status.

“I am a visionary, I am a transformative president, a builder, and the type of president we’re looking for now needs to execute the plan on this transition,” he said. “That needs a leader who has some university experience and a strong academic background. It’s amazing work, it’s just not the work for me. I’m impatient, I push too hard, and I probably could’ve learned to collaborate a little more.”

Ward said he still has a long to-do list to complete ahead of his retirement.

“One thing really important to me, and I want to work with The City on this, is having The City designate us as a university district. What that means is we’d have more control over the growth of what we do on our 300 acres of land,” he explained.

“Secondly is to ensure we have our transition plan before government, we have a name for this institution -- which we’ll have this fall or early spring -- and try to convince our government to change our name sooner than later.”

Ward listed Premier Rachel Notley’s university status announcement as the highlight of his career, adding that he will be moving to Victoria once his duties are wrapped up.

“It’s been an honour and absolute pleasure to lead this institution during a time of exceptional growth and accomplishment,” he remarked. “That’s the work of an entire organization, entire community and all of central Alberta.”

RDC Board Chair Morris Flewwelling also shared his thoughts, noting that the board of governors has accepted Ward’s letter of intent to retire.

“We have started developing a profile for the next President, which will be the foundational document in our search,” Flewwelling said. “It’s very important for us that this is an inclusive and comprehensive process. In the immediate future, we will seek the input of internal and external stakeholders to help determine what qualities, skills, attributes and characteristics prospective candidates should possess.”

RDC hopes to install the school’s 11th president in time for the 2019-2020 year.


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