Bellevue College Extends Locke’s Interim Contract

Gov. Locke
Former governor agrees to stay on for up to 2 additional years.

(BELLEVUE, WA—January 14, 2021)—Today the Bellevue College Board of Trustees announced they will be extending former Governor Gary Locke’s contract as interim president for up to two additional years. The unanimous vote took place during a special board meeting on Wednesday evening, January 13.

“We are pleased to continue Governor Locke’s term and grateful he has agreed to serve in this capacity while the college works through what has been an incredibly difficult time for our college, our community, and the country,” said Greg Dietzel, Chair of the Bellevue College Board of Trustees.  “This allows for stability in leadership and gives us time to launch a thoughtful and thorough national search for a permanent President.”

Gary Locke was the first Chinese American to be elected governor in United States history and the first Asian American governor on the mainland. In his two-terms as Governor, Washington was ranked one of America’s four best-managed states. Locke was originally appointed interim Bellevue College President on May 28, 2020. 

“We’re thankful for everyone in the college community who participated and shared their opinions and information with us in some way over the past few months as we worked to determine our path forward,” said Richard Leigh, Vice Chair of the Bellevue College Board of Trustees.  

The college conducted an anonymous survey in Spring 2020, in which over 60 percent of the college participated. In addition, members of the Board engaged in over 50 Listening Sessions with groups in which more critical information was heard, and most recently over 80 additional written comments were provided by the campus community, ensuring many voices were heard. 

“I am honored to continue on as Interim President to focus on tackling the many challenges before us,” said Locke. “Working with faculty, staff, students, and the community, we still have much work to do—from delivering high quality education despite the pandemic to firmly embedding a culture of diversity, equity and inclusion on our campus.”

During the Obama administration, Governor Locke served as U.S. Secretary of Commerce, and most recently as U.S. Ambassador to China.  He is widely seen as a leader in education, employment, trade, health care, human rights, immigration reform, privacy, and the environment. His innovations in government efficiency, customer focus, priority-based budgeting, as well as successful and under-budget management of high-risk initiatives, have won him acclaim from nationally recognized authors and organizations, including Harvard’s Kennedy School of Government.

ABOUT BELLEVUE COLLEGE

With an annual average enrollment of over 29,000, Bellevue College is one of the largest educational institutions in Washington State. BC offers associate degree programs covering the first two years of a college education as well as four-year bachelor’s degrees, certificates and continuing education programs in nearly 100 professional and technical fields, such as information technology, telecommunications, business, education, health and public safety. Visit and learn more at www.bellevuecollege.edu

ABOUT GARY LOCKE

Gary Locke formerly served as Governor of Washington State (the first Chinese American to be elected governor in United States history and the first Asian American governor on the mainland), U.S. Secretary of Commerce, and most recently as U.S. Ambassador to China.  Mr. Locke is a leader in the areas of education, employment, trade, health care, human rights, immigration reform, privacy, and the environment. Mr. Locke graduated from Seattle’s Franklin High School. He achieved the rank of Eagle Scout and is a recipient of the Distinguished Eagle Scout Award from the Boy Scouts of America. He attended Yale University, graduating with a bachelor’s degree in political science and received his law degree from Boston University. He was appointed interim head of Bellevue College in May, 2020 and assumed those duties in June, 2020.

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Last Updated January 14, 2021