Bellevue College president, advocate for Issaquah campus, resigns

May 23, 2011

By Warren Kagarise

NEW — 11:15 a.m. May 23, 2011

Jean Floten

Bellevue College President Jean Floten, a strong advocate for adding a college campus to the Issaquah Highlands, is resigning from the institution to serve as chancellor of WGU Washington, the state’s online university.

Floten arrived at Bellevue College in 1989 and helped build the Eastside institution into a college serving about 39,000 students each year. Only the University of Washington and Washington State University outrank Bellevue College in size.

“Having the honor of serving as president of Bellevue College for over two decades has been the opportunity of a lifetime,” she said in a statement.

Bellevue College announced the resignation Monday.

In recent years, Floten focused on adding a satellite campus in a fast-growing Eastside community. The college announced plans last year to build a campus in the highlands, as a complicated land preservation process neared completion. The city completed the transfer of development rights in late March.

The college purchased land for a highlands campus last year. Floten outlined a bold plan for the campus in the decades ahead. No construction timeline has been finalized for the Issaquah campus.

The college’s board of trustees plans launch a national search for a successor to Floten.

“Her departure is a clear loss for the college,” trustees Chairman Vijay Vashee said. “Fortunately, the state will still benefit from her presence.”

The state’s online university is WGU Washington — a partnership between the state and Western Governors University.

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