Peter Nunoda, Red Deer College’s 11th president, began his tenure in September. On Tuesday, he was officially installed in the leadership position.
Nunoda took an oath of office led by Lt.-Gov. Lois Mitchell, alongside Guy Pelletier, RDC’s chairman of the board of governors.
“It certainly confirms everything that I believed when I accepted the position that was so kindly offered. We’ve got a bright future and I couldn’t be more excited, and today is the official, ‘let’s go,’” said Nunoda.
During the past couple of months that Nunoda has been at RDC, he has seen the same drive for excellence on campus and the same work ethic that he grew up with all his life, he said.
“The highest possible achievement in our chosen discipline was expected,” Nunoda said, who grew up in a Japanese Canadian family, recalling his younger years.
In his speech after the ceremony, Nunoda identified a strong desire to work with government partners to allow the institution to begin calling itself Red Deer University starting in September 2020, citing the institution’s readiness and work that is currently underway.
This work includes three new degrees: a bachelor of education, bachelor of science and a bachelor of business administration, with students anticipated to begin classes as early as September 2021, pending government approval.
His vision includes continuing to serve learners as a polytechnic university, offering more diverse programs. This includes degrees, apprenticeships and the full breadth of other credentials that RDC currently offers.
He also highlighted the value of practical education and signature learning experiences that students will receive at Red Deer University, so employers will realize the benefit of the skills and knowledge that work-ready graduates will provide to the local and global economy.
Nunoda also envisions RDC’s campuses providing opportunities for community collaboration and a culture of engagement. One way he would like to see that be achieved is through a smartpark – similar to the one at the University of Manitoba.
He described a smartpark as a conglomeration of private, small businesses focusing on expertise that lies within the institution.
“University of Manitoba, for example, they got into nutaceuticals and they attracted big companies to that, but let’s look around central Alberta and see what companies want to come to the table, because we have the capability to do that applied research in a way that can help them get products quicker to the market,” he said.