A Chat With Ian Newbould


By Darya Baugh-Ruschman and Gracey Montgomery

In June, following the departure of Dr. Joseph Urgo as College President, Dr. Ian Newbould was hired as Interim President and began the year on the first of August. St. Mary’s contacted an agency for retired college Presidents, called “The Registry,” and the agency sent in several resumes. Out of those, three were chosen; all of those candidates were interviewed by a group of administrators, and Dr. Newbould was chosen.

Newbould has had a long career working in colleges and universities. He came to St. Mary’s with 40 years of experience, starting as a professor of British and European History at a university in western Canada, then becoming involved in administration at the university. Then he was appointed as a President of a university in eastern Canada (a job he had for ten years); he described the university as being similar to St. Mary’s, in size, ethos, and academics. Following his leave from his canadian university, he was President of a college in North Carolina for seven years, and then he was President of a college in England for three years before retiring. Most recently, he was involved with University of Mary Washington, as Interim Provost up until last year.

Newbould has big plans for St. Mary’s, beginning with the admissions and financial problems.  “I’m here for a particular reason.” says Newbould.  “A lot of issues have to be dealt with, and if you have a year you have to work pretty quickly. I went to work immediately from where I was in Canada, where we live… I told the Board that by the end of the year, when the permanent President is in place, I wanted to have the admissions problems behind us. I wanted to have the financial problems behind us, so that the new President can take over with a much stronger position.” He also said that he will be spending a lot of time with the Board and the legislators to develop plans for the College, and he will also be spending a lot of time fundraising. When asked why St. Mary’s was an appealing place for him to be Interim President, he said, “The College [itself], the reputation, the people, the wanting to get things done, the wanting to move things forward. It wasn’t a hopeless cause, that was pretty evident from the get-go.”

Gail Harmon, Chair of the Board of Trustees, said of Dr. Newbould, “I think he’s doing a spectacular job… It’s very interesting for him to bring that experience to the College right now in this time of transition… His personal style and demeanor is very helpful in conveying that the College is in very good shape and will continue to be in very good shape.”