The Bellevue College Board of Trustees voted Monday to select David L. Rule, president of Portland Community College's Rock Creek campus, as president, to replace former longtime president Jean Floten.
The board now must enter into negotiations with Rule before the contract is finalized. He is expected to start in January, which is winter quarter.
“I am thrilled to have been chosen as the next president of Bellevue College. I look forward to beginning this new adventure and working with the trustees, students, faculty, staff, businesses and the community to build on the strong foundation that already exists at this institution,” Rule said in a prepared statement.
The board chose Rule from a group of four candidates who met with students, faculty, staff, and members of the community in a series of forums in October, in addition to official interviews with the trustees.
Associated student body president Takhima Dzhuvaeva said that Rule was the students' first choice, after he addressed student concerns, such as undocumented students, bullying and environmental stewardship.
"After the forums, we all met and wrote down our impressions... and Dr. Rule got most of the comments," she said. "He was really personal in how he engaged with us."
Board of trustees chairman Paul Chiles said that Rule has a personable manner that came through with visits to his current campus at Rock Creek.
to be the chancellor of Western Governors University Washington.
Rule will be the college's fifth president in the college's nearly 50-year history.
“The Board of Trustees had an important job: to identify the next leader of Bellevue College who possesses the leadership qualities, values, talents and abilities that are needed to build upon the great strides this college has made over the years,” Chiles said in a prepared statement. “I’m happy to say that we’ve found this leader, among a pool of very strong candidates, in Dr. Rule. His extensive experience, his record of creating innovative programs and his focus on student success best position him to lead BC at this critical point."
The college provided the following biographical information on Rule:
Rule comes to Bellevue College from the Rock Creek campus of Portland Community College in Portland, Ore., where he has served as president for the last four years. Under his leadership, the campus, with 26,000 students, has increasingly put itself on the cutting edge of academic program development, student services, sustainability initiatives and workforce development. It boasts innovative new curricula in solar-voltaic manufacturing, microelectronics and biosciences. One of his primary responsibilities as president has been to oversee the implementation of a $53 million bond measure.
Previously, he spent four years as president and CEO of Muskegon Community College in Muskegon, Mich. In this role, Rule implemented a new strategic plan; reorganized the Enrollment Management Division to better focus on service; and oversaw the completion of a new $7.2 million Library/Information Technology Center.
Before Muskegon, he served as vice president for academic affairs and assistant vice president for curriculum and instruction at Orange Community College; director of institutional research and program development at St. Thomas Aquinas College; and professor of educational psychology and director of the graduate program in educational psychology at Marist College. All institutions are located in New York state.
Originally from the Lake Placid region of upstate New York, Rule holds a doctorate in educational psychology from the State University of New York in Albany. He also earned both a master’s degree in educational psychology and a bachelor’s degree in music education from the College of St. Rose, also in Albany. In addition, Rule is a community college graduate, earning an associate degree in performing arts from Schenectady County Community College in Schenectady, N.Y. He is married to wife Jean and has three school-aged children.
During the search for Floten's replacement, Laura Saunders, a former vice president of administrative services at the college, has been serving as interim president.
The board selected Rule after an extensive national search. The board extended the search last May after an initial round of considering applicants. The board hired a new consulting firm, ACCT.
Chiles said after the meeting that on the second go-around of the hiring process, the entire board, instead of a committee, took part in the selection process and learned about the candidates at the same time.
The search included public forums last month, in which four finalists met with the campus community.
“The board listened carefully to the campus community to ensure the search was a thorough, inclusive and transparent process. From the beginning, people on campus and the public had an opportunity to offer input on what qualities they would like to see in the next president. And those who attended the forums could submit written feedback, which was communicated directly to members of the board,” Chiles said in a prepared statement.
Bellevue College is the state's larges community college and the third largest institution of higher learning in Washington state, with 37,000 students annually.
Editor's note: Information originally received on Rule's length of employment at Portland Community College and Muskegon Community College was incorrect. This information has now been corrected in this article.