Written responses to questions from BC presidential candidate, former Governor Gary Locke

Q: Why did you choose to apply to this position? Specifically, do you have any goals you would like to accomplish in your time as interim president?

A: Bellevue College is a great institution with a national reputation for educational excellence and innovation. But the college is in turmoil and is facing external challenges brought on by COVID-19. First, it would be an honor to help bring healing, stability and calm to the campus. Second, it is critical to ensure adequate funding from the state which is now facing a major budget crisis in order to meet the growing demand for education and job training in a time of layoffs and economic uncertainty. Finally, we need to continue and accelerate the on-campus efforts to increase the graduation and completion rate in all our programs with the goal of success for ALL of our students.

Q: What unique talents, experience or skills do you think you bring to the college?

A: Throughout my career with many different agencies, I have been able to motivate and help people and organizations achieve higher levels of performance and instill pride in their work and accomplishments. I am also very familiar with the state budget process and the key decision-makers and could help in the effort by all of higher education to impress upon Olympia that any strategy to recover jobs and the economy must include our colleges and universities. I would also be able to reach out to the broader community with the objective of not just maintaining but also expanding the partnerships that support many college programs. Finally, I am a good listener and believe in reaching out to people for their ideas and suggestions on improving the operations of the organization and more importantly the morale of the staff which is key to the success of any organization.

Q: As president, how will you go about making tough decisions in these trying times — what will be your guiding principles?

A:I have always included others in my decision-making process. I value the diversity of viewpoints and robust discussion. In all my leadership positions, I have always included an equity and inclusion lens in evaluating policies and programs: “Does it promote civility, mutual respect, unity and equal opportunity?” Or does it “divide, disrespect or diminish our humanity?” For the programs and policies at the college, I would add more directly: “Do they enhance and further equity and inclusion?”

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