Notes from the President

Jul 1, 2021

Dear Colleagues,

I hope you were able to stay cool during the unprecedented heat wave we experienced in the Pacific Northwest this last week. As Yogi Berra said: “It’s not the heat, it’s the humility!”

But here is an achievement I am humbled by: Did you know that Bellevue College awarded 2,778 bachelor’s and associate degrees, certificates, and diplomas to 2,538 students this past week? Congratulations to all our graduates! We owe a deep debt of gratitude to the BC faculty and staff who support our students in and beyond the classroom—the learning, dedication, and encouragement you provide to our students is immeasurable. Your commitment to student success is a true inspiration.


Coming Back to Campus… Gradually.

We recently announced in a campus-wide email that all classified, exempt, temporary hourly, and student workers who have been working from home will resume working on campus beginning Sept 7, 2021 at least two days per week. Beginning Winter Quarter 2022, the entire College will return to normal operations (whatever the “new” normal maybe). We still have a lot of details to work out and will share more information over the next couple of months. Like all of us, I look forward to coming back together again, when we can all interact in real time, with real people

COVID Testing Continues on Campus.

For the last seven months, BC has partnered with UW Medicine, King Country Public Health, and the International Community Health Services to provide drive-up and walk-up COVID-19 testing to members of the public in the BC parking garage. We will continue to offer COVID-19 testing on campus through Sept 30, 2021.

Budget Stakeholder Group (BSG).

Cabinet members are continuing their deep dive into exploring and analyzing each of the recommendations provided by the BSG in their final report. We appreciate the thoughtful work from the BSG members and the important questions they have raised. On June 18, I shared an email to campus on the progress made so far and expect to provide another update in the fall.

Celebrating Diversity & Social Justice Through Art.

A committee has been hard at work this month designing the guidelines for the new campus corridor of large artwork highlighting diversity and social justice. Chad White, Art Department Chair, and Beabe Akpojovwo, Social Justice and Diversity Director, co-chair the committee made up of faculty, staff, and students from across campus. This artwork will be a visual expression of our ongoing commitment to affirm and uplift the diverse identities within the BC community and our commitment to social justice. The final guidelines for the submission and selection of the artwork will be announced in the fall. The idea is to select artwork submitted by students, faculty, staff, and campus groups. Those interested in submitting artwork for the corridor: be on the lookout in the coming days for some “teaser” or “heads up” guidelines.

Unshocking News: Electrical Infrastructure Updates.

Starting in 2019, the College started to replace vital electrical infrastructure in our older buildings. Work began in buildings D, E, and G and that project will be complete in the next few weeks and will ensure the campus avoids catastrophic electrical failures while also providing emergency back-up power for our servers, TV station, and Food Services. Many thanks to the staff who managed this project and for everyone’s patience during power-down activities. In the 2021-2023 biennium, this work will continue as we replace the main electrical switchboards and transformers in the A, B, and C buildings.


Thank you to members of the Commencement Committee who planned this year’s virtual Commencement Ceremony: Carrie Moore, Rosalie Hancock, Megan Watson, David Bruckner, Ruth Bly, Alicia Keating Polson, Lisa Moore, and the many others. And a shout-out to former Seahawk Doug Baldwin, student commencement speaker Kevin Allen, and faculty speaker Caroline Leffall for truly inspirational and eloquent messages. If you missed last week’s commencement ceremonies, the recordings for both ceremonies are available on our Commencement website.

Congratulations to BC student Karen Jenkins, who was selected as the 2021 Healthcare Information and Management Systems Society (HIMSS) Washington Undergraduate Scholarship Awardee. Karen was also selected to serve as a program assistant for the 2021 HIMSS Global Health Conference & Exhibition in Las Vegas. She has worked as a registered nurse for 35 years and is pursuing a BAS in Nursing Informatics. 

Congratulations to Dr. Maria Paula McPherson and co-author Dr. Katsaros-Molzahn on finishing their book, Professional Immigrant Women. This research project was funded through a BC Foundation mini-grant and describes the struggle and success of many immigrant women that came to the U.S. to pursue their education and start their careers

Congratulations to Dr. Miebeth Bustillo-Booth, Director of Professional Education in Tombolo Institute, who recently earned her Doctor of Education (Ed.D) in Educational Leadership from the University of Washington.

Congratulations to Andrew Kapoi, Procurement Manager, who just graduated with his Master of Education from Oregon State University.

Final Thoughts

Enjoy what looks to be some beautiful (and more bearable) weather this upcoming long holiday weekend! I hope you are able to gather safely with loved one to celebrate summer and America’s Independence Day.

If you’d like to receive future Notes from the President by email, please visit the President’s Office website and enter your contact information so I can email each issue to you directly.

Gary Locke

Interim President