On Wednesday, three finalists for Bellevue College’s interim president position were announced by the school’s Board of Trustees. Former Governor Gary Locke, Dr. Yoshiko Harden, and Dr. Raúl Rodríguez all are being considered for the position.
“We’re pleased and excited to present three extremely qualified candidates for the position of Interim President of Bellevue College,” Rich Fukutaki, board chair, said in a press release. “Leading Bellevue College during these unprecedented times and uniting the campus are huge challenges and unique opportunities. With input from the college community, we are confident the right person will emerge to move the college forward.”
Locke was the governor of Washington state from 1997 to 2005 and was the United States’ first Chinese American to be elected governor. Since, he has since served in the U.S. Secretary of Commerce and most recently as the U.S. Ambassador to China. Harden in the past worked at Bellevue College — she was the vice president for diversity and the chief diversity officer — and currently is the vice president for student services at Seattle Central College. Dr. Rodríguez has worked at various colleges throughout California and currently serves as the interim president at East Los Angeles College.
The position for which the three candidates are being considered was vacated after former president Jerry Weber stepped down in the aftermath of a controversial alteration in February to a campus mural remembering Japanese American internment. Provost Kristen Jones has served as acting president since.