Dr. Scott Ralls Selected as Next Wake Tech President
RALEIGH, NC (December 18, 2018) – Dr. Scott Ralls will be the next president of Wake Technical Community College, effective May 2019. The Wake Tech Board of Trustees approved his selection this morning, and the State Board of Community Colleges has given final approval. Dr. Ralls currently serves as president of Northern Virginia Community College (NOVA), one of the largest and most internationally-diverse community colleges in the United States. He has more than 20 years of experience in community colleges, including seven years as president of the NC Community College System, and has worked for the North Carolina Department of Commerce, the U.S. Department of Commerce, and the U.S. Department of Labor.
“Scott Ralls is the right person at the right time for Wake Tech,” says Wake Tech Board Chair Tom Looney, “and I’m thrilled about his selection. With his extensive record of achievement and leadership at one of the nation’s largest community colleges, he will be able to build on Wake Tech’s solid foundation and continue its tradition of excellence. Throughout the selection process, Scott Ralls stood apart. He knows our region’s economic landscape, understands our workforce training needs, and works effectively with elected leaders on both sides of the aisle.”
Dr. Ralls will become Wake Tech’s fourth president, succeeding Dr. Stephen Scott, who led the college for 15 years before his retirement in August. Dr. Bill Aiken is currently serving as interim president.
At NOVA, Dr. Ralls created a new Information and Engineering Technology Division and led the construction of three new advanced training facilities. He helped grow NOVA’s cybersecurity program into one of the largest and fastest growing in the nation, and established the first Cloud Computing associate degree program in the country, in collaboration with Amazon Web Services. He created a new workforce division at NOVA, fostering innovative relationships that included the first east coast apprenticeship program with Amazon Web Services. Dr. Ralls developed new articulation agreements with universities and engaged the NOVA community in developing a new strategic plan. He was named one of the Washington Region Power 100 Leaders by Washington Business Journal in 2017.
From 2008 to 2015, Dr. Ralls served as president of the NC Community College System, leading the state’s 58 community colleges through a period of enrollment growth and budget challenges. Before that, he served as president of Craven Community College in New Bern. Dr. Ralls holds a bachelor’s degree from UNC-Chapel Hill, and master’s and doctorate degrees in Industrial and Organizational Psychology from the University of Maryland. He will begin at Wake Tech May 1, 2019; until then, he will visit Wake Tech periodically to meet with trustees, administrators, faculty, and staff.
Dr. Ralls was selected to lead Wake Tech after an extensive nationwide search that attracted a diverse pool of more than 60 applicants. The search was led by the nationally-recognized firm, AGB Search, which conducted an extensive series of listening sessions with faculty, staff, students, and key community partners to develop a presidential profile. A Search Committee comprised of trustees, faculty, staff, and community leaders narrowed the field to the top three candidates and made the final recommendation to the Board of Trustees.
“As board members we knew we had an important responsibility,” says Looney. “Wake Tech is our community college, and the state’s largest, serving more than 74,000 students. Our goal was to make the selection process as thorough and as transparent as possible. This has been an inclusive and collaborative community exercise that has identified a visionary and transformational new leader. I’m very proud to have led this search process and even prouder of the great choice we’ve made for Wake Tech’s future.”