HomeCollege NewsVice President Ryan Derby-Talbot to Depart Deep Springs College for the Middle East

Vice President Ryan Derby-Talbot to Depart Deep Springs College for the Middle East

Deep Springs’ Vice President: Dean and Chief Financial Officer, Ryan Derby-Talbot, has been selected to be the founding president of a new, Deep Springs-inspired college to launch in the United Arab Emirates in 2025. He will depart Deep Springs at the end of July, 2024. 
 
The new college in the UAE is yet to be named, and will adopt several features familiar to Deep Springs: a two-year program, small student cohorts (co-ed), an isolated location in the desert, and a three pillar program of academics, labor, and cultural practices meant primarily for Emirati students. “Think camel herding and date farming rather than cattle ranching,” said Derby-Talbot in his announcement to the Deep Springs community. Self-governance will also be an embedded practice at the UAE College, but not one of the three explicit pillars. 
 
Deep Springs has seen an increase in visit requests from educators in recent years, and the College hosted a “Nunnian Summit” in February of several Deep Springs-inspired institutions in the US, including Outer Coast College, the Tidelines Institute, Thoreau College, and Gull Island Institute. The new UAE college that Derby-Talbot will head reflects the expanding influence of Deep Springs, and a growing desire for place-based, community-oriented, and character-driven educational models. 
 
“It feels like the kind of thing that I am uniquely positioned to support — I have experience with new institutions, with Deep Springs’ model, and even have basic proficiency in Arabic. I feel I can help get this new college underway with a good shot for success, as an expression of my life of service.” said Derby-Talbot. 
 
President Andy Zink expresses his “deep gratitude for Ryan’s extraordinary leadership and tireless commitment to the College, staffulty, and especially our students. We will miss his strategic mind, good humor, and inspired work as the student & faculty dean. And in his role as Vice President & CFO Ryan has brought a new level of organization and clarity to the College’s finances that will have a positive impact for years to come.”
 
Deep Springs will soon begin a search for new dean. In the meantime, former president David Neidorf will return to the College to serve in an interim dean role for the 2024-25 academic year.