Sheila Ruhland named president of Tacoma Community College in Washington state

Tacoma Community College January 9, 2015

Sheila Ruhland selected to lead Tacoma Community College

A search for the next president of Tacoma Community College has ended with the announcement that finalist Dr. Sheila K. Ruhland has verbally accepted the position.

Dr. Ruhland comes to TCC from Moraine Park Technical College in Fond du Lac, Wisconsin where she has been president since 2011. "Dr. Ruhland impressed the campus and the Board with her energy, passion and experience," said Board Chair Liz Dunbar. "She is deeply committed to student success and we look forward to her dynamic leadership."

“I am honored to have been selected as the next president of Tacoma Community College," said Dr. Ruhland. “TCC has a wonderful reputation. I am excited to join the Tacoma community."

TCC’s Board of Trustees have led the search since last summer when longtime president Dr. Pamela Transue announced her retirement. The national search ultimately produced three finalists who visited the campus earlier this month.

Dr. Ruhland is tentatively set to begin in March.

Dr. Ruhland was appointed President of Moraine Park Technical College in 2011 representing the communities serving a ten county district in Fond du Lac, WI. During a period of significant statewide economic challenges she has led the college and diverse stakeholders – students, faculty, business and community leaders, local, regional and state legislators - in achieving a mission of innovative education for an evolving workforce and community. Dr. Ruhland’s leadership is characterized by her tenacious ability to navigate complex systems, issues and challenges while “getting things done.” She holds a strong focus on outcomes verified by data-based planning and meticulously measured goals.

Dr. Ruhland has led with a vision focused on student success and supported by her strategic initiative, Innovation 2020. Recent accomplishments include the Forming Alliance to Cultivate Talent (FACT) initiative, the new student services wing for the Fond du Lac campus, a revised budget input and planning process, gaining legislative support for the performance-based funding plan and a high quality of new employee hiring. She is described as “cheerful and outgoing as she goes about her responsibility to be the face of the college… incredibly visible around all three campuses and communities as she tirelessly attends numerous student and business events.” She currently serves on the Fond du Lac Association of Commerce Board of Directors, the Women’s Fund Board of Directors, and is a member of the Fond du Lac Noon Rotary.

During her career, Dr. Ruhland has ascended to executive level leadership through a steady progression of positions throughout the country in Technical and Community colleges. Prior to her current position, Dr. Ruhland served as Vice President of Instruction at Rockingham Community College in Reidsville, NC and Clatsop Community College in Astoria, OR; Assistant Professor in the Department of Work, Community and Family Education at the University of Minnesota; Dean of Business at Western Wisconsin Technical College in La Crosse, WI; Dean of Business and Marketing at Southwest Wisconsin Technical College in Fennimore, WI; and as an instructor at Madison Area Technical College in Madison, WI.

Dr. Ruhland holds a Doctor of Philosophy degree in Continuing and Vocational Education with a minor in Educational Administration, and a Master of Science degree in Continuing and Vocational Education, both from the University of Wisconsin-Madison. She earned her Bachelor of Science Degree in Marketing and Distributive Education from the University of Wisconsin-Stout in Menomonie, WI; and an Associate of Applied Science Degree in Business Administration, Marketing-Fashion Merchandising from Madison Area Technical College in Madison, WI.

She enjoys a strong relationship with her extended mid-western family and is an experienced traveler who welcomes new experiences. Theater and cultural events along with outdoor activities to include walking, biking and golf along with reading mystery novels occupies her time away from work.
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