The Public Honors College

SMCM Newsroom

An Interview with Dr. Ian Newbould


August 7, 2013
Press Release #13-095

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Dr. Ian Newbould arrived on campus Aug. 1 to begin his tenure as interim president for the 2013-14 academic year. We recently sat down with Dr. Newbould to learn a little bit more about him. 

Name: Ian David Campbell Newbould                              

Nationality: Canadian/ British

Languages:  English, Dutch (fluent), some French

Q: What about St. Mary's attracted you to the position as interim president?

A: I was approached and asked if I would be interested. I was retired, but started getting involved in interim positions. I had been next door in Virginia at the University of Mary Washington serving as interim provost. I knew about St. Mary’s, and I learned about some of the issues facing the College from a colleague at Mary Washington. The more I looked into it, I thought, “This is a really great school.” St. Mary’s is very similar to the first university I was president of in Canada. It seemed like an interesting opportunity to see what I could do to help turn things around and build on the College’s strengths. 

Q: What skills and experience do you have that will benefit St. Mary's the most?

A: I have been president of three universities over a 20-year period, and in each case I was taking over after difficulties. Each of those places had strengths, but they needed to build on them … So I have a lot of experience working in troubled times.

Q: From your experience, what have you enjoyed most about being president? 

A: In every case I have been at small liberal arts colleges, starting out as a faculty member and then serving as dean, then provost, and then president. The most enjoyable aspect of it all is students. There’s no question that that’s the benefit. Very few people get to work with young people. My wife Carla, who has been a great benefit to me in these positions, and I, have always relished being among students.

Q: How do you envision taking advantage of the engaged community we have here at St. Mary's?

A: No one can come in with all the answers and say, “Here’s what’s going to happen.” It’s important to talk to everyone and listen. You have to be a good listener in this position. The importance is to engage them. How do you engage them? Talking, listening, and meeting. I have an open door policy.

Q: Do you know what it means to be 'ponded'? 

A: I presume it has something to do with being thrown in the pond. I had better not tell people my birthdate.

Q: Can you tell us about your family? 

A: My wife, Carla, and I have three children and three grandchildren, ages ten, seven, and two. Back in Canada, we’re all within five minutes of each other. We spend a lot of time together, and we have a great time. That’s our family, plus all the assorted brothers, sisters, nieces, nephews, and so on.

Q: Are you the oldest of your siblings?

A: I’m one of four, and the youngest by 35 minutes.

Q: You’re a twin?

A: Yes, identical twin, actually.

Q: Do you have a favorite quote or motto? 

A: One quote I’ve always thought about was from a business leader. He said, “Really what you need to do, if you’re in a leadership position, is not to try and make friends. Don’t aim for friendship, aim for respect by doing a good job. If you want a friend, buy a dog.” And what it really means is, once you become president of something, or general manger or anything else, you want people to respect what you’re doing. They might not always agree, but as long as you’ve gone about it the right way and explained it, and people see that you’re transparent and not saying one thing and doing another, you can earn respect.

Q: Is there anything else you would like to add?

A: People will see me riding my bike to the office. I love to golf. And I’m pleased and happy to be here, to become a member of this community, and to be able to help in the transition toward new leadership.

Category: Student Body