In August, the Board of Trustees appointed Dr. Jill Wakefield as the new interim president. Wakefield’s experience in academic leadership are widespread, starting as a program assistant in the veterans’ office at South Seattle Community College, rising to the vice president position in different factions of the college such as instruction or institutional advancement and finally becoming the chancellor of Seattle Colleges. Although Wakefield retired in June 2015, she agreed to act as the interim President for BC.
“I am thrilled that Dr. Wakefield will be joining Bellevue College as our interim President. We believe her proven leadership will contribute to a very successful year at Bellevue College for students and staff while we conduct our search for a permanent president,” said chair of BC’s Board of Trustees Lisa Chin.
Wakefield had one condition before joining Bellevue College. She has requested that the board find a new president within one year.
As a result, the search for a new president is currently underway. The board put out a request for proposal for a search consulting firm. “Hopefully, we’ll have that search consultant by the end of next month,” said vice chair of BC’s Board of Trustees Steve Miller. The next portion of the search requires feedback from BC’s community and will give the BC community a chance to tell the board their thoughts on what kind of qualities the new president should have. There will be other ways to give input on the presidential search as well. “We will want to have some online processes where people can indicate their views as to what are the priority needs on campus for the next president,” explained Miller.
From there, BC will release a complete presidential profile, which will be followed by applicants and interviews between January and March 2017. By this point, the board hopes to find a potential replacement for Wakefield.