Rock Creek Campus President David Rule has been selected to lead the largest community college, and the third largest institution of higher learning, in Washington state.
Rule will take over the helm at Bellevue, which has an annual enrollment of 37,000 students and offers both two- and four-year degrees, in January. He served as president for the past four years at PCC’s fastest growing comprehensive location in the Rock Creek Campus (17705 NW Springville Road), which accommodates almost 26,000 students annually. Across the past five years, Rock Creek has grown in total enrollment by 63 percent.
“It has been a great pleasure to work with Dave over the last four years,” said College President Preston Pulliams. “He has led the Rock Creek Campus through a comprehensive bond planning effort, strengthened the college’s relationships with Washington and Columbia County leaders, and expanded the campus’ career-technical program and business partnerships. He has also provided substantial leadership for PCC on a range of statewide community college committees and task forces, ensuring our perspectives were well-represented and serving as a key point person for the college on state education reform.”
The Rock Creek Campus President job has been a launching pad for past leaders. Rule was hired in 2008 to replace Katherine Persson, who also left PCC to accept a presidency position of a community college – this time with Lone Star College in Houston. Before that, Bill Christopher moved on to be president of Cascadia Community College (Bothell, Wash.) in 2005 after seven years at Rock Creek.
“It has been an absolute pleasure serving along side the students, faculty, staff, and communities at Rock Creek and PCC generally,” Rule said. “I am also greatly honored to have now twice served with Dr. Pulliams, with whom I also served with in New York prior to coming to Portland. So while I am delighted for this opportunity to now serve the amazing institution of Bellevue College, I will miss all the wonderful colleagues and friends here at Rock Creek and PCC.”
During his tenure, Rule oversaw the implementation of new curricula for microelectronics like the Solar Voltaic Manufacturing Program and the biosciences such as the Biology and Management of Zoo Animals Program; helped to expand the campus’ sustainability initiatives such the Learning Garden; fostered partnerships and relationships with Washington County business; championed workforce development; and led Rock Creek’s $44 million share of construction connected to the voter-approved $374 million PCC bond measure, which included the new 35,000-square-foot solar array (one of the state’s largest).
“Dr. Rule was remarkable in his ability to bring community leaders together to address changing and challenging educational needs,” said Andy Duyck, Washington County Board Commissioner and chair. “He will really be missed.”
In 2011, Rule was instrumental in helping to lure SoloPower to the Portland area where it will open a state-of-the-art manufacturing facility producing thin-film, light-weight solar panels. Through Rock Creek’s Solar-Voltaic Manufacturing Program, PCC will help train the company’s new workforce. SoloPower’s operations in Portland, which will begin commercial production later this year, are ultimately expected to employ 450 people from around the area.
Before coming to PCC, Rule spent three years as president of Muskegon Community College in Muskegon, Mich., and before that served as vice president for academic affairs and assistant vice president for curriculum and instruction at Orange Community College in New York.