The schedule for choosing a new leader for Portland Community College’s Rock Creek Campus is in flux.

President David Rule is leaving in January to take over the helm of Bellevue College, the largest community college and the third largest institution of higher learning in Washington state.

“It has been an absolute pleasure serving alongside the students, faculty, staff and communities at Rock Creek and PCC generally,” Rule said when announcing his departure.

Normally, Rule’s replacement would be appointed by Preston Pulliams, president of the overall PCC system. But Pulliams has announced he is retiring next July.

According to PCC spokesman James Hill, a national search is already under way to choose Pulliams’ replacement. The process is expected to stretch through the spring and include public forums with the finalists.

James says because the transition is already under way, Pulliams is considering appointing an interim president for the Rock Creek Campus, perhaps leaving the final selection to his replacement.

In the meantime, Pulliams was quick to praise Rule’s four years of leadership at PCC’s fastest growing comprehensive campus at 17705 N.W. Springville Road, which accommodates nearly 26,000 students annually. In 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 Pulliams.

During his tenure, Rule oversaw the implementation of new curricula for microelectronics, such as 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).

The Beaverton Valley Times contributed to this story.

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