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Dr. Chad Knights appointed as NOVA’s Provost of Information and Engineering Technologies

Chad Knights

Northern Virginia Community College President Dr. Scott Ralls is pleased to announce the selection of Dr. Chad Knights as the new provost of information and engineering technologies, effective July 1.

“During a very extensive search process, Dr. Knights clearly distinguished himself by presenting a clear understanding of the needs of our region, a strong vision for the opportunities and roles for our College, and a tremendous understanding of the program development, faculty support and involvement required for us to accomplish our goals,” said Ralls. “Through his collaborative work, both externally with multiple employers and internally with our faculty and College leaders, Chad will achieve the results we hope to accomplish through this new position.”

The Provost will assume a leadership role to position NOVA as the leading information technology community college in the nation as stated in the College’s recently approved strategic plan. Knights will be responsible for all academic activities related to curriculum, teaching, outreach and fiscal management of the information technology and engineering technology degree programs across each campus at NOVA. As Provost, he will also supervise the Dean of Information and Engineering Technologies and other staff.

Prior to his new appointment, Knights served as NOVA’s Senior Academic Leadership Fellow, where he assisted in overseeing the development of the College’s new mechatronics, data center operations and cloud computing specialization degree programs. Knights began his career at the College as an adjunct Biology professor at NOVA’s Alexandria Campus. He later served as the Assistant Division Dean of Biological, Natural and Environmental Sciences from 2008 to 2013. 

In 2013, Knights served as Dean of the Science, Technology and Business Division at NOVA’s Alexandria Campus, which has now evolved into the Mathematics, Science and Engineering Division. As Dean, he continued to hone his leadership and management skills, while leading one of the largest and most diverse STEM-based divisions in the Virginia Community College System. In 2016, Knights became the Interim Director for NOVA SySTEMic, the College’s STEM outreach program. In this position, he was responsible for forging partnerships with four-year universities, school districts, community organizations and employers to advocate the value and quality of NOVA and establish a STEM pipeline to meet the region’s future STEM workforce demands.

He is also the recipient of several academic and outstanding faculty awards including; the NOVA Alumni Federation Faculty of the Year Award, the Jean C. Netherton Award for Excellence and Outstanding Service and the Excellence Award from the National Institute for Staff and Organizational Development.

Knights obtained his Ph.D. in Biochemistry from the University at Buffalo while working at the Roswell Park Cancer Institute in Buffalo, NY. He also received a bachelor of science degree in Recombinant Gene Technology and Biology from SUNY at Fredonia in Fredonia, N.Y. and an associate of science degree in Agricultural Biotechnology from Alfred State University in Alfred, N.Y.

“My experiences at NOVA have provided me with a strong understanding of the needs and challenges that exist for the regions richly diverse student population,” said Knights. “As an academic leader, I plan to create an infrastructure and culture that leads to effective enrollment management, productive curricular assessment and improvement, strong academic advising, innovative academic program development and a high level of financial stewardship that aligns with the College’s strategic plan. I’m excited and honored to serve in this new capacity.”

Beginning July 1, NOVA-Woodbridge Program Head of Information Systems and Technology Dr. Paula Ford will assume the responsibilities as college-wide Interim Dean of Information and Engineering Technologies. Ford’s years of experience in IT, business and cybersecurity has been instrumental in developing several college-wide initiatives; including Innovative Hackathon and Assisting Females in Technology (aFIT).


Media Contact: Kristina Ogburn | 703.503.6338 | kogburn@nvcc.edu



Northern Virginia Community College is the largest institution of higher education in the Commonwealth of Virginia and one of America's largest community colleges. NOVA enrolls more than 75,000 students at its six campuses in Alexandria, Annandale, Loudoun, Manassas, Springfield and Woodbridge, and through NOVA Online. For more information about NOVA and its programs or services, call 703-323-3000 or visit the College's Web site, www.nvcc.edu.