In an official notice sent to Bellevue College faculty and staff members on Sept. 23, it was announced that Leslie Newquist had accepted the position of interim dean for the Health Sciences, Education, and Wellness Institute to replace former dean, Kevin McCarthy.
Vice President of Instruction Services Tom Nielsen explained the hiring process that was used to find a replacement.
First, an internal posting was sent out to faculty and staff members. Then, “a small team consisting of the hiring authority [ the VP Instruction and VP Economic and Workforce Development], plus representatives from HSEWI reviewed applications and came to the unanimous conclusion that Leslie best met or exceeded the qualifications.”
According to Nielsen, it was immediatly clear that Newquist was the most qualified applicant for the position.
“Her education, background in a similar role at GRCC, and track record of team-building and accomplishments at BC were key factors. Because of this she is able to step into the job and immediately function in a highly effective way, with little or no ramp-up time. This is key in an interim appointment.”
The Health Sciences, Education, and Wellness Institute is responsible for making sure that all the health science courses are built properly so that students can enroll, that the proper faculty get hired and are available to teach the courses.
The HSEWI also provides advising for students who go into those programs, so that they have access to any resources they might need.
Due to the large amount of professional/technical programs that Bellevue College offers which prepare students for
specific jobs in health sciences, the HSEWI works with advising committees for each of those areas and with employers to make sure that their programs and curriculum stay up to date.
Newquist explains, “As that entry ceiling rises, it’s become very difficult to get a job in health care without a bachelor’s degree, so it’s a bachelor’s degree that aims at a very specific career where there’s a workforce shortage. We’re really preparing our students for what employers need them to do.”
Vice President of Economic and Workforce Development Paula Boyum, who was directly involved in Newquist’s appointment to the position, was optimistic about Newquist’s ability to continue the success of the HSEWI.
“I’ve had the pleasure of working with Leslie for years, and in my opinion she’ll do an excellent job in continuing to carry out the good work that our previous dean initiated in working closely with the staff.”
Boyum worked with Newquist while she was at a different college through the Washington State Workforce Education Council. That experience showed Boyum that Newquist is a “very strong leader”.
Boyum went on to say that Newquist’s work in the last year with health sciences initiating a number of baccalaureate programs has given her experience working very closely with faculty members, which will help her do “an excellent job.”
Before Newquist joined Bellevue College’s staff in October 2011 as the director of Applied Baccalaureate Development, Bellevue College only offered two baccalaureate courses. “Now”, Newquist explained, “there are currently five that are up and running and we have two more in the pipeline for approval, and we are partway through that process.”
Now that Newquist is in her new position, Nielsen remarked, “we are in process of making arrangements and may have details soon. We are not expecting Leslie to do both jobs, even if she is a superhero!”