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Presidential Search

The Search for Olds College’s 14th President.


Nov. 2, 2022 Update

The Board of Governors is pleased to announce the appointment of Dr. Ben Cecil as the new President of the College. Dr. Cecil will assume the role of President on January 16, 2023. See official announcement here.

Sept. 1, 2022 Update 

The Board of Governors continues to be mindful that the selection, recruitment and effective integration of a new President is one of its most important tasks. 

The next key milestone in the recruitment process will occur in early September when the Presidential Search Committee will conduct a detailed review of the top candidates that have emerged to date.  The goal of this meeting is to determine a short list of candidates for first round interviews, currently planned for mid-September. 

The President Search Committee is responsible to recommend top candidate(s) to the Board of Governors. Finalist interviews will be conducted by the full Board of Governors. As part of the interviewing process there will be an opportunity for cross-campus feedback into the finalist interview process.  

July 26, 2022 Update

The Olds College Board of Governors and Gallagher Executive Search are pleased to present the Olds College President Profile. The profile for the position of Olds College President was created after consultation with the Olds College community, including: the Olds College Faculty Association, AUPE, the Student Association of Olds College, and the College Leadership Team.

June 13, 2022 Update

The Olds College Board of Governors has selected Gallagher Executive Search to support the Board in recruitment of the next President. The Presidential Search Committee conducted a public bid process, nine proposals were received, three firms were interviewed, and Gallagher was selected. 

The next step for the Presidential Search Committee is to work with Gallagher Executive Search to create a President Profile. Feedback on the President Profile will be gathered from the Olds College community, including: the Olds College Faculty Association, AUPE, the Student Association of Olds College, and the College Leadership Team.  

The goal is to have the President Profile finalized in July, so that recruitment activities can begin.

Message from Leona Staples

April 28, 2022

Leona Staples, Board ChairThe Board of Governors has begun the search for Olds College’s next President. Through the creation and execution of the Olds College Strategic Plan: Growing 2025, the College has achieved many successes, including: 

  • Generating $30+ million in applied research funding and increased annual applied research funding by over 300%.

  • 12% increase in enrolment including a doubling of international enrolment (compared to 2017-18)

  • Implementation of the College’s first Indigenous Relationship Building Strategy and Action Plan.  

  • Expanding the Olds College Smart Farm by doubling the College’s land base to 3,600 acres in two provinces. 

  • Two new agriculture technology credentials launched, and a new product development process established. 

  • $95 million in new revenue and investments with industry, government and the giving public. 

  • Implemented the Campus Master Plan and initiated over $35 million in new facility construction including the Smart Ag Innovation Centre, Animal Health Education Centre, Ag Tech Learning Hub, and Smart Farm Operations Centre (farm shop). 

  • Championed and supported the creation of the Olds College Equity, Diversity and Inclusion Committee.

The Board of Governors is seeking a new President who will continue to grow Olds College and achieve the objectives outlined in Growing 2025, along with fulfilling the College’s social purpose of “transforming agriculture for a better world” and the College Ends.   

To do this, we will be establishing a Presidential Search Advisory Committee made up of Board of Governor public members, and engaging in the RFP process to secure the services of an executive search company. For business continuity an external interim-president will be appointed this summer to support the executive leadership team.  

We will provide updates on the search process in the coming weeks to this webpage, including an in-depth position description and information on the Presidential Search Advisory Committee and campus engagement process. 

This is an exciting time for Olds College, as we look forward to opportunities that lie ahead and work to secure our 14th President.

Leona Staples
Chair, Olds College Board of Governors 
Chair, Presidential Search Advisory Committee 

Presidential Search Advisory Committee 

The Presidential Search Committee is made up of public board of governors members, including:  

  • Leona Staples, Committee Chair
  • Gordon Cove, Committee Vice Chair
  • Meghan Dear
  • Jennifer Wood
  • Paul McLauchlin

Olds College Board of Governors’ Ends

Olds College Board of Governors Ends (written policies) provide meaningful results that the College is trying to achieve.

Mega-End: Alberta's agriculture community has the talent, knowledge and thought leadership to lead globally. This result will be produced in a manner that demonstrates stewardship and sustainability.

E1: Learners have the relevant, transferable and diverse skills to achieve success and increase the number of qualified people to serve the global economy. 

  1. Learners are employment ready. 
  2. Learners have hands-on experience. 
  3. Learners are connected to industry. 
  4. Learners have an outstanding and enduring student experience. 
  5. Learners are equipped for life- long learning. 
  6. Learners acquire an entrepreneurial mindset. 
  7. Learners are prepared for next generation agriculture and related industries.

E2: New knowledge, products and technology are created, demonstrated and transferred to industry and learners.

  1. Smart Agriculture applied research solutions are created to address the challenges and opportunities in the value chain. 
  2. Agriculture industry has the skill sets needed to evolve at the pace of change. 
  3. Agriculture industry has the conditions necessary to adopt change.

E3: Alberta Leads in agriculture.

  1. The importance and holistic nature of the agriculture industry is recognized as being essential to the preservation and betterment of life. 
  2. Alberta is a region for agricultural innovation. 
    1. Alberta leads in Smart Agriculture technology.