BELLEVUE, Wash., Jan. 14, 2021 /PRNewswire/ -- Today the Bellevue College Board of Trustees announced they will be extending former Governor Gary Locke's contract as interim president for up to two additional years. The unanimous vote took place during a special board meeting on Wednesday evening, January 13.
"We are pleased to continue Governor Locke's term and grateful he has agreed to serve in this capacity while the college works through what has been an incredibly difficult time for our college, our community, and the country," said Greg Dietzel, Chair of the Bellevue College Board of Trustees. "This allows for stability in leadership and gives us time to launch a thoughtful and thorough national search for a permanent President."
Gary Locke was the first Chinese American to be elected governor in United States history and the first Asian American governor on the mainland. In his two-terms as Governor, Washington was ranked one of America's four best-managed states. Locke was originally appointed interim Bellevue College President on May 28, 2020.
"We're thankful for everyone in the college community who participated and shared their opinions and information with us in some way over the past few months as we worked to determine our path forward," said Richard Leigh, Vice Chair of the Bellevue College Board of Trustees.
The college conducted an anonymous survey in Spring 2020, in which over 60 percent of the college participated. In addition, members of the Board engaged in over 50 Listening Sessions with groups in which more critical information was heard, and most recently over 80 additional written comments were provided by the campus community, ensuring many voices were heard.
"I am honored to continue on as Interim President to focus on tackling the many challenges before us," said Locke. "Working with faculty, staff, students, and the community, we still have much work to do—from delivering high quality education despite the pandemic to firmly embedding a culture of diversity, equity and inclusion on our campus."
During the Obama administration, Governor Locke served as U.S. Secretary of Commerce, and most recently as U.S. Ambassador to China. He is widely seen as a leader in education, employment, trade, health care, human rights, immigration reform, privacy, and the environment. His innovations in government efficiency, customer focus, priority-based budgeting, as well as successful and under-budget management of high-risk initiatives, have won him acclaim from nationally recognized authors and organizations, including Harvard's Kennedy School of Government.
ABOUT BELLEVUE COLLEGE
Bellevue College officially opened its doors on January 3, 1966, fulfilling the community's dream of a local, accessible institution of higher education. Now, more than 50 years later, the college is located within the city limits of Bellevue, Washington, situated on 100 wooded acres within sight of the Cascade Range and Puget Sound. As the third largest institution of higher learning in Washington, the college opens the door of higher education to more than 32,000 students each year, striving to create a vibrant campus community that supports a diverse student body, faculty, and staff. Pluralism is promoted in all aspects of the college and is an essential part of the college's mission and goals.
SOURCE Bellevue College