This week is a big week for the WGU community as we prepare to launch WGU Washington on Thursday – and the week kicked off first thing Monday morning with news in the Seattle Times and the Puget Sound Business Journal announcing the leader who will take the reins as WGU Washington Chancellor: Jean Floten, current President of Bellevue College.
The Seattle Times called Floten’s planned career change a “surprise move,” but given her 20-plus years as an innovator at the cutting edge of higher education, maybe her decision to transition from a traditional school to a Washington online university isn’t such a surprise at all.
Floten started at Bellevue when it was known as Bellevue Community College. But under her 23-year leadership, the school began offering bachelor’s degrees in some subjects and became Bellevue College – minus the word “Community.”
Her experience with the state’s community college system makes her an ideal fit for WGU Washington, which was created in part to offer additional transfer capacity for community college graduates to pursue a bachelor’s degree.
“We feel really fortunate that she wanted to come,” WGU President Bob Mendenhall told the Seattle Times, recognizing Floten’s celebrated leadership in both the local Washington and national higher education communities. “Everyone tells us we couldn't have made a better choice.”