Bellevue College selects headhunting firm in search for president

September 4, 2011

By Warren Kagarise

NEW — 8 a.m. Sept. 4, 2011

Bellevue College leaders have selected a Florida search firm to find the institution’s next president.

The college selected Greenwood/Asher and Associates, a veteran in Washington State University and Western Washington University presidential searches, to find potential successors to longtime President Jean Floten.

Floten arrived at Bellevue College in 1989 and transformed the community institution into a college offering bachelor’s degrees and educating about 39,000 students each year.

Bellevue College’s next president is expected to play a large role in the institution’s expansion to Issaquah. Floten announced plans last August to open a satellite campus in the Issaquah Highlands and laid out a bold vision for the facility.

Construction is expected to start on the campus in the years ahead. Crews started construction in May on a road to serve the planned campus.

Greenwood/Asher and Associates has conducted searches for presidents, chancellors, vice presidents and other officers at community colleges and universities across the United States. Recruiters from the Miramar Beach-based firm lured Elson Floyd from the University of Missouri System to the top job at WSU in 2007.

Bellevue College trustees also started selecting a presidential search advisory committee to work alongside the firm to help develop a list of characteristics sought in the next president, review applications, narrow the field and evaluate the top candidates. The final selection is the trustees’ decision.

The committee includes trustees, faculty and staff members, students, and community and business leaders from within the college district. (The district includes Issaquah.)

Citizens can also offer input on the search through a survey created by college administrators.

Floten resigned from Bellevue College last month to serve as chancellor of WGU Washington, a nonprofit online university. Laura Saunders, a former Bellevue College administrator, is serving as interim president.

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