David Rule: 125 days in office

Chris Toomey/The Watchdog
Chris Toomey/The Watchdog

On the first day of winter quarter, Jan. 2 2013, Dr. David Rule took office as Bellevue College’s newly selected president.

As of Tuesday, May 7, Rule has served in office for 125 days.

On April 29, Rule hosted a Faculty and Staff Q and A in D-106 from 12:30-1:30 p.m. He addressed an array of issues, concerns, interests and other inquiries brought forth by faculty and staff ranging from employee health benefits, to the current faculty pay freeze to the building of an East campus in the Issaquah Highlands and the drafting of a strategic and academic master plan.

“I think it was a very constructive gathering and I think it is illustrative of what [Rule] has been doing in a variety of contexts and that makes me and very many of my colleagues very optimistic about our future collaboration and future of the college,” said President of the Bellevue College Association of Higher Education Douglas Brown. “We are also very heartened by his flexible perspective in ways in which college resources can be devoted to college needs more broadly and more flexibly than has been imagined in the past.”

“I enjoy the dialogue…building a greater spirit of collaboration…empowering decision making and not centralizing it,” said Rule. “The creation of an academic master plan over the next year will have a major impact.”

An academic master plan is designed to outline the goals and forecast the development of the college over the next three to five years. It particularly focuses on what programs the college will spend time and money developing, as well as assessing programs that might no longer be needed.

In the 20 years prior to Rule taking office, during which Jean Floten served as BC’s President, the college has not ever drafted an academic master plan.

The need for a master academic plan has been strongly advocated by many of the faculty since Rule took office in January. Its absence in previous years is believed by many of the faculty to have limited the college in ways in which it could grow and allow members of the community to contribute.

“As a president my role is to be the captain of the ship…I’m going to chart where we’re going, and look to what’s over the horizon.” said Rule.

In the coming future, Rule looks to help guide BC grow into its name as it moves towards becoming a two and four year institution.

“Bellevue is ideally situated within the greater Seattle area to become…an open enrollment institution that offers a wide array of extremely high quality two and four year degrees,” said Rule.

The college is currently moving forward with conversations about becoming a residential campus, having purchased several plots of land near campus where dormitories might be built to provide affordable housing for students, as well as bring new campus life to the college. Additionally, new Baccalaureate and International programs are likely to be assessed in the development of an academic master plan. The aforementioned plan is projected to be completed mid-year 2014.