In a career spanning more than 35 years, Bob Skene has exemplified always a commitment to excellence that goes beyond the boardroom and into the community-at-large. He is an exceptional leader with a distinguished financial management career and an outstanding reputation for bringing business growth to the high-tech sector. Bob Skene is also a devoted husband, father and grandfather known for his integrity, intelligence and willingness to volunteer for a good cause.
At Royal Roads University alone, Bob Skene’s contributions have been immense. He has served as a member of the Board of Governors; as Chancellor and Chair of the Board; and as a member of the Foundation Board. He even volunteered his extraordinary talent to serve as Acting President for 11 months in 2006, without compensation.
As president, Bob Skene was instrumental in strengthening the university’s relationships with its landlord, the Department of National Defence, as well as with local First Nations and Royal Roads Military College graduates.
In 2008, Bob Skene assumed another influential and pivotal role at Royal Roads. He is co-chairing the university’s Legacy Campaign, its first-ever major fundraising initiative and one that aims to attract $100 million from the public and private sectors. In addition, he co-chairs one of the campaign’s regional committees and is a major donor himself.
Bob Skene moved to Victoria in 1979 after 10 years as chief operating officer at Computel Systems Ltd. in Ottawa. He was senior vice-president, business development and chief financial officer with WCG International Ltd. from 2000 until retirement – of sorts – in 2005. In between, Bob Skene made enormous contributions to the high tech sector, including 10 years as CEO of the Vancouver Island Advanced Technology Center and five years as Vice-President of Finance and Administration with BC Systems, a Crown Corporation responsible for providing data processing and software development services to all B.C. government ministries.
When the B.C. government elected to privatize BC Systems in 1983, Bob Skene secured a contract to manage all data center operations and helped 120 provincial employees transfer to HTS, an employee-owned private sector company.
A Chartered Accountant who was elected a Fellow of the B.C. Institute of Chartered Accountants in 2000, Bob Skene also holds a Bachelor of Commerce degree from the University of British Columbia.
Bob Skene is a tireless and giving community leader who has served on, and at times led, a number of local boards supporting both business and humanitarian ends. These include the Greater Victoria Chamber of Commerce, the Victoria Airport Authority, the Greater Victoria Hospital Society, the Silver Threads Society, the Association for Community Living, the Jericho Hill Legacy Trust and the Camosun Gyro Club.
Through his generosity and devotion to leadership, entrepreneurship and community service, Bob Skene actively demonstrates every day the traits that RRU holds dear.
Mr. Chancellor, it is indeed an honour to present Bob Skene for the degree, Doctorate of Laws, honoris causa.