Article by 28230 OCdt Victoria Pierrot
14458 BGen (ret’d) Dr. Harry Kowal (RMC 1984) received the news of his reappointment as RMC’s Principal earlier this month. Dr. Kowal was first appointed as Principal in 2013 after a 33-year career in the Canadian Armed Forces. He retired as a Brigadier General.
In speaking with Dr. Kowal, he explained that he submitted his application back in December 2018 and was very pleased to receive word of his reappointment this July. Dr. Kowal’s goal upon submitting his application for his second term was to show the search committee who he is and what he brings to the table. He has an extensive resume and a long-standing history with RMC. He completed his undergraduate degree here, and later returned as a distance education student for one of his masters, and then again as a lecturer, assistant professor and squadron/division commander.
Dr. Kowal has a very clear vision of what he wishes to accomplish during his time. During his first term, his priorities were focused on bringing the academic wing and training wing closer together; helping to facilitate strategic planning, supporting the faculty to enhance morale; fostering an inclusive, respectful environment for all college members; and ensuring RMC continues to recognized as an academic institution of excellence.
Much of his vision stems from what he oversaw in his first term. He had many accomplishments and helped facilitate fundamental and longstanding changes to the college. Reflecting on his first term, he enjoyed connecting with faculty, staff and students, highlighting and celebrating their accomplishments. He is likely the first Principal to have completed the obstacle course (which he did four times) and to have been appointed Acting Commandant. He is proud of RMC’s collective effort to unlock the promotion process by establishing a Career Progression Management Framework for use by the University teaching Group and to sign a new Collective Agreement, to create the 2014 ‘Inspiring Excellence: The Strategic Framework for the Academic Wing at the Royal Military College of Canada,’ and to contribute to RMC’s own strategic plan, and to support and respond to the Special Staff Assistance Visit (SSAV) and the Audit of the Auditor General. He is also proud to have represented RMC with the Council of Ontario Universities and Universities Canada as well as with international organizations such as the University of the Arctic and the International Society of Military Sciences. He also published paper on RMC.
Dr. Kowal continues to be inspired by the quality of faculty, staff and students. “We have had our rough moments,” says Dr. Kowal, “with the untimely passing of students and faculty members. But we worked through these times together, sharing our grief, and implementing strategies to better help people in distress. These difficult moments have only brought us closer.”
Now, returning as the Principal, Dr. Kowal is committed to continuing the work resulting from the SSAV report and that resulting from the audit of the Auditor General. Dr. Kowal looks forward to ensuring that the appropriate action is taken so that RMC continues to remain relevant, accountable and responsive to the needs of the service. As Dr. Kowal stated, “There has been much that has been done but there is more to do and I am just so pleased that I will be part of it.”
Dr. Kowal is happily reminded of all his RMC past times everyday when he comes onto the campus or jogs up Fort Henry Hill. Dr. Kowal’s extensive RMC experience has proven invaluable during his time as Principal and will continue to do so as he enters the next term. He is looking forward to his second term at the college and RMC is as equally happy to have him return.