Bellevue College President Jean Floten has announced that she is leaving BC to take a position as Chancellor of Western Governor’s University- Washington, an online-based university.
Floten has been at Bellevue College since 1989, leading the college through its greatest period of growth. The college now serves about 39,000 students annually and offers four-year degrees in addition to remaining an open access school with a wide array of programs.
In an email to the college faculty and staff Floten said, “Bellevue College is an extraordinary place, one that has been an important part of my life for the last 23 years. Having the honor of serving as president has been the opportunity of a lifetime. Best and most satisfying has been the chance to perform important work with such a group of talented and dedicated people on behalf of our students, and to contribute to the ongoing transformation of our college in vital service to our community.
“Clearly, a large part of my heart will be left behind. Bellevue College will always be important to me. It will be difficult to say farewell and I will forever cherish the relationships I have forged over these many years. However, the time is right for the College and right for me to begin anew. I am confident the College will prosper under new leadership. The opportunity to start a new endeavor is exciting and invigorating for me.”
The BC Board of Trustees will appoint an interim president and begin a national search for a new president.
Vijay Vashee, Chair of the Bellevue College Board of Trustees, said, “Bellevue College has been blessed with Jean Floten’s guidance for the last 23 years. Major impact has been felt ranging from early learning to various areas in the computing field. Her departure is a clear loss for the college. Fortunately the State will still benefit from her presence. I wish her the best as she continues to impact education in the State of Washington.”
Dale King, President of the Bellevue College Foundation and Vice President of GLY Construction, stated, “With innovative, visionary leadership from Bellevue College President Jean Floten, the Bellevue College Foundation has raised more than $35 million during her tenure to support quality education and learning opportunities for all BC students. Through her leadership, additional millions in federal, state and local grants also came to the college. Jean has always articulated the values of the greater community in her work at the College. Her passion for removing barriers to student success and for the power of education to improve lives has inspired so many to give. We are excited for her as she pursues this new opportunity, and we thank for her untiring service to students in our community.”
Douglas Brown, BC Faculty President, added, “Those of us who have been at the College for even half of her long tenure are keenly aware of the extensive growth and change that she has both catalyzed and managed. In very many ways the Bellevue College we know is an expression of her vision and a testament to her leadership.”
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