Introducing: Notes from the President

Dear Colleagues,

During the past year, as we have all dealt with COVID communications challenges, I’ve often wanted a more regular way of reaching you. This message is the first of a bi-weekly series to update you on some of the exciting things happening here at Bellevue College and the important work we are accomplishing together.

You can call this a note, a blog, or a letter—but my goal is to send you a message every other week to provide timely information on campus happenings and invite two-way conversation.


Great News about the Center for Transdisciplinary Learning and Innovation Building!

The recently concluded Washington State Legislature approved $39,942,000 to build a new Center for Transdisciplinary Learning and Innovation (TDIC) on the Bellevue College campus. Construction of the three-story building should begin in spring 2022. It will be located just north of the college parking garage and should be completed in late spring 2023. The TDIC will likely co-locate business and information technology, art, and engineering, and will include smaller spaces for interior design and computer science. Co-location of programs will encourage interdisciplinary engagement as well as enable shared use of campus resources.

More Good News from Olympia. 

With the improving State economy, the Legislature did not require furloughs of state employees or suspend previously granted pay raises as originally recommended by Governor Inslee. Indeed, this was a very good legislative session for our community and technical colleges with new funding for additional full-time faculty, Guided Pathways, workforce development, and diversity and racial equity initiatives. We will await from Olympia over the next two months details on funding and program requirements.

Town Hall on the College Budget.

Join Executive Director of Finance Jim Craswell and me at a Town Hall on Tuesday, May 11 from 1-2 PM* where we will present the 2021-2022 college operating budget. We will share the budget priorities, which will focus on investments in diversity, equity, and inclusion, student success, greater support for students, and other strategic initiatives.

Budget Stakeholder Group Report.

A few weeks ago, we held a Town Hall about the Budget Stakeholder Group (BSG) report*. If you missed this Town Hall, you can watch it here*. A timeline for assessing and exploring each BSG recommendation is currently being developed, and the Cabinet and I will share our progress before the end of the Spring Quarter.

Thanks for Participating in the Return to Campus Survey!

The results of this survey* are being considered as we determine how many and which classes will return to campus in the fall and how this will impact the work location of our staff and faculty.

Artwork Celebrating Diversity & Social Justice.

We’ve gotten a great response from the campus community on my proposal for a campus corridor of large artwork highlighting diversity and social justice. Our next step is to identify a committee of faculty, staff, and students to establish the guidelines, policies, and procedures for the submission, selection, duration, and financing of the artwork. We had dozens of individuals express interest in serving on the committee; we will announce the committee members within a week.


Congratulations to the four employees who were announced as the 2020-2021 BC Foundation Excellence Awards winners at last week’s College Issues Day:

  • Classified Staff: Phouvanh (Noy) Xaya-Outhone, Custodian
  • Exempt Staff: Hope Gamez, Basic & Transitional Studies Program Manager
  • Part-Time Faculty: Dr. Christina Sciabarra, Political Science
  • Full-Time Faculty: Katrina Malkin, Nursing

Congratulations to Dr. Maria Paula McPherson who co-authored the article, “Latinx Community College Students on Academic Probation: Struggles and Success,” which will be published in the June 2021 issues of the NACADA Journal.

And finally, congratulations to the DECA team at Bellevue College for being recognized as national champions for the seventh year in a row, which is a remarkable achievement. DECA is an intercollegiate team “sport” that has students take on other colleges and universities in business and marketing case studies and prepared presentations. The activity helps develop problem solving and critical thinking skills, and prepares the next generation of leaders for careers across all fields of study.

Final Thoughts

I hope you’ve found this first issue of Notes from the President informative. Let me know what you think, and what you’d like included in future Notes to help you feel current with what is happening at the College.

If you’d like to receive future Notes in your email, enter your contact information in the sidebar on the right and I will email them to you directly.

Gary Locke

Interim President

*Links to some documents will not be available to individuals external to Bellevue College.

Last Updated May 19, 2021