SHERIDAN — The Northern Wyoming Community College District Board of Trustees approved Walter Tribley as the new NWCCD president Friday afternoon.
“We are delighted to welcome Tribley as our next president,” NWCCD board chair Norleen Healy said in a press release. “His knowledge, experience and passion for the community college mission make him the ideal selection. We are so very thankful to have had such a qualified pool of candidates with very strong finalists, and Tribley rose to the top.”
Tribley will begin his tenure July 1 and replace Paul Young, who has served as president since 2010 and announced his decision to retire last October.
Tribley has served as superintendent and president of the Monterey Peninsula Community College District in California since December 2012.
“I am honored to be selected as President of the Northern Wyoming Community College District and to help the district continue to play its vital role in the region,” Tribley said in a press release. “The opportunity to join such an excellent college district to engage in the important work of transforming the lives of our students and drive the economic development of our region with NWCCD trustees, faculty, staff, and community stakeholders is extraordinary.”
Tribley was one of three finalists for the position. Other finalists were Jon Connolly, Ppresident of Sussex County Community College and Leah Barrett, NWCCD vice president of student affairs.
The NWCCD was assisted in the search by Pamila Fisher of the Association of Community College Trustees. The board’s selection caps a six-month national process that included public forums and interviews lasting more than two hours with each candidate earlier this week. The 14-member search committee composed of campus, board and community representatives reviewed applications, conducted semifinalist interviews and recommended finalists to the board for consideration. The search attracted more than 45 applicants.
NWCCD board secretary Debra Wendtland said she appreciated the participation of many people from Sheridan College and Gillette College throughout the process.
“We listened to what they said and we read everything that they said, and they changed my mind,” Wendtland said. “I thought I knew my mind until I listened to people who work at both of these colleges, and that was very powerful, frankly.”
Tribley began his career in higher education as a faculty member at Seminole Community College in Florida. After earning tenure there and securing the college’s first grant from the National Science Foundation, he joined the University of Florida to teach biotechnology to educators and graduate students. Tribley came to Monterey Peninsula College after serving in several roles of increasing responsibility at Wenatchee Valley College for approximately 11 years culminating as vice president of instruction. Wenatchee Valley College is a comprehensive community college in North Central Washington with two campuses within a service district of approximately 10,000 square miles.
Tribley earned a bachelor’s degree in secondary science education, and a bachelor’s and a master’s degree in biology from the University of Idaho. He earned his Ph.D. in biochemistry from Washington State University. After completing his Ph.D., he was hired as a scientist in a biotechnology start-up company in California developing blood tests for the early detection of gynecologic cancers (primarily ovarian and breast cancers). He values connecting relevant industry-specific curriculum with a liberal arts education to enable students to be well educated and adaptable for the careers of tomorrow.