NNMC President Rick Bailey
BY MAIRE O’NEILL
Northern New Mexico College President Rick Bailey has accepted a position as the next president of Southern Oregon University. His new job begins Jan. 15, 2022.
Bailey told the Los Alamos Reporter Wednesday morning that every day at NNMC has been a precious gift.
“I am grateful to have served with an amazing and inspiring group of students, faculty, staff, board members, and community partners. A little over five years ago, I stated that the best days for Northern were ahead of it. And thankfully, while we have made great strides over the years, I am just as confident to say the same thing today. Northern’s best days are still ahead of it, as this team continues to grow, innovate, and thrive. This institution and this community will always be in my heart,” he said.
Bailey holds a doctorate in government from Georgetown University, a master’s degree in international affairs from Washington University in St. Louis and a bachelor’s degree in engineering sciences from the U.S. Air Force Academy.
He retired from the USAF as a full colonel and and command pilot following 24 years of service.
Prior to his presidency at Northern New Mexico College, Bailey served as associate professor of strategy and security studies at the School of Advanced Air and Space Studies at Air University, Maxwell Air Force Base, Alabama. He was the school’s first-ever dean of students.
He served as a military liaison and defense trade analyst at the U.S. State Department after completing his doctorate in 2006. He later served as chief air operations officer at the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) Joint Force Command Brunssum, in The Netherlands, where he oversaw air operations efforts for the International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) mission in Afghanistan. Bailey retired from the Air Force as a full colonel and command pilot.
“It became apparent throughout the search and selection process that Dr. Bailey’s innovative and entrepreneurial accomplishments, leadership style, strategy expertise and optimistic vision for what is possible at SOU, can propel the university’s bright future, ” Santos said.
Santos credited the success of the search to hard work by the diverse, 18-member search committee and the thoughtful participation of hundreds of people from across campus and the surrounding communities. The presidential search committee included students, faculty, staff, community members, another Oregon university president and SOU trustees.
Bailey will succeed Linda Schott, Ph.D., who is retiring in December and has served as president of SOU since August 2016.
“The board is grateful to Dr. Schott for her dedication to SOU and her presidential leadership, which have helped advance the university,” Santos said.