Tribute paid to ex college head

Dr Ian Killip

Dr Ian Killip

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Tribute has been paid to former Isle of Man College principal Dr Ian Killip, who died on Sunday.

Dr Killip headed the Douglas college between 2006 and 2010 and was its deputy principal for six years prior to that.

Department of Education and Children chief executive Professor Ronald Barr, who succeeded Dr Killip as college principal, said his predecessor ‘made a substantial contribution to Isle of Man College, which significantly changed the institution for the better’.

Born into a Manx family, Dr Killip left school at 16 to work in the construction industry and studied civil engineering part-time before going to university.

Graduating from the University of Liverpool in 1976 with a degree in building engineering, he returned to the construction trade to design, construct and convert buildings in North West England before lecturing at Manchester College of Building and Liverpool Polytechnic. He established the polytechnic’s first degree course in building.

He was awarded a Master in Engineering degree in 1980 by the University of Liverpool in recognition of his research into preventing rain penetrating through walls and joints.

In 1989 he became head of Brighton Polytechnic’s department of building and, over the following decade, presided over the development of undergraduate and masters courses in construction technology and management, building surveying, environmental science, environmental management and geography.

He was awarded a Doctor of Philosophy degree by the university in recognition of his research work into radon in dwellings.

Following a period of strategic management, where he developed the university’s modular degree system, he stepped sideways, believing he could make his greatest contribution to education through developing the Isle of Man College.

He was appointed deputy principal in 2000 and replaced Ray Smith as principal in 2006.

Dr Killip was instrumental in growing it into the excellent facility it is for students to enhance their knowledge, understanding and skills through a range of courses up to degree level.

After he retired, Dr Killip continued as a self-employed research scientist and author.

His wife, Margaret, was a primary school teacher in the island and, after their retirement, they moved to live in Devon.

Professor Barr said: ‘Dr Killip worked tirelessly to improve the public perception of the college, improve the quality of its staffing and its financial management. He cared deeply about students, their academic performance and their welfare.

‘His legacy significantly enhanced further education and vocational education on the island and much of the current improved provision was initiated or planned while he was principal.

‘His great passion was, however, higher education and he set in motion developments that continue to evolve today as more of this educational provision is delivered on-island.

‘He will be much missed by many, not least by me as I worked for several years as his deputy. His complete commitment to public service, hard work, professional standards in public life and educational opportunity was an example to us all.’

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