Coe College President David McInally to retire next year

McInally and his wife will remain 'Iowans for good'

Coe College president David McInally and his wife, Janice, wave as they ride in the college's 100th Homecoming Parade in
Coe College president David McInally and his wife, Janice, wave as they ride in the college’s 100th Homecoming Parade in 2013. (The Gazette)

Eight years after taking the reins of the private Coe College in Cedar Rapids, President David McInally has announced he plans to retire after the 2020-21 academic year.

As 15th president of Coe — taking office on July 1, 2013 — McInally over the years worked to increase enrollment, improve student success, upgrade facilities, and elevate the college’s visibility and connections, according to a news release announcing his departure.

He introduced the “Make Your Move Campaign” in fall 2015 — initiating the largest building projects in Coe history — and also helped create Coe’s current five-year strategic plan.

In an email, McInally said he and his wife, Janice, plan to spend their retirement in Iowa — although they haven’t nailed down specifics.

“This has become our home, and we plan to be Iowans for good,” he said.

McInally, in a statement that went out to the Coe community, called serving as the school’s president “the greatest privilege of my professional life.”

“My wife, Janice, and I love Coe with all of our hearts and will miss being part of the daily life of our campus,” he said. “Coe is strong and growing, and we are in an excellent position to recruit our next president.”

The Coe board of trustees will “move quickly” to identify a search consultant, appoint a search committee, and start working with the campus on a “leadership transition.”


Board Chairman Ken Golder in a statement said board members would have liked for McInally to stay longer but, “We are grateful for the years we had and appreciate Dave and Janice’s service to Coe.”

McInally’s tenure saw the seven largest incoming classes and full-time enrollments in Coe history, improved retention rates, trimmed endowment spending and infrastructure enhancements, according to the Coe release.

Coe has seen more than $40 million in campus renovations on McInally’s watch and embarked on a variety of sustainability initiatives such as energy reduction, renewable energy generation, water management, organic landscaping, a green roof on Gage Memorial Union, solar panels on Clark Racquet Center, and rain gardens across campus.

Capitalizing on the upgrades in the “Make Your Move Campaign,” the campus in the fall announced expanded athletic opportunities — including a clay target team, women’s bowling, triathlon and archery, along with men’s bowling and triathlon.

The 2015 strategic plan he championed introduced the campus’ Learning Commons and paved the way for the its C3: Creativity, Careers and Community center, connecting current students with alumni, business partners, internships and job prospects.

McInally also backed the 2016 dedication of Coe’s James Randall Intercultural Center, Reflection Room and LGTBQIA+ Resource Center.

McInally’s biography

A first-generation college student and National Merit Award winner, McInally earned a Bachelor of Science degree in business administration and a Master of Arts degree in English language and literature from the University of Akron. He earned a Doctor of Education degree from the University of Pittsburgh in administrative and policy studies.

Before Coe, McInally served as assistant dean of students, dean of students, secretary of the college and vice president for finance and planning at Allegheny College, beginning in 1986.

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