November 16, 2006



Executive Session




Call to Order

Elizabeth Chen, Chair, called the meeting to order at 10:10 a.m.


Roll Call

Members Present:††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† Elizabeth Chen

Rita Creighton

Ed Davila

††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† Mike Regeimbal

††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† Karen Vander Ark


Attorney General Representative:†††††† Derek Edwards


Dr. Chen announced that the agenda would be cleared for one action item regarding the presidentís contract.All scheduled reports were postponed to the next Board meeting and apologies were given for any inconvenience caused to those prepared to report.


Action Item:


Presidentís Contract:

It was moved by Ed Davila and seconded by Karen Vander Ark that the Board of Trustees terminate Dr. Priscilla Bellís contract under the termination for convenience clause of her contract.


Motion carried unanimously.


The Board expressed their appreciation for Dr. Bellís many contributions to the College and said that it was a very hard decision but the Board and the president had reached philosophical differences and the Board decided that it was in the best interest of the College to terminate her contract.The Board will be meeting in the following weeks and months in Executive Sessions to follow up on this issue.


At 10:12 a.m. Dr. Chen announced that the Board would go into Executive Session for thirty minutes to discuss the performance of a public employee.


At 10:35 a.m. the Board reconvened the meeting.


Dr. Chen announced there would be one more action item.


Action Item:


It was moved by Ed Davila and seconded by Mike Regeimbal that Dr. Jack Bermingham would be appointed Interim President and Larry Yok would be Acting Interim President until Dr. Bermingham returns to campus from a business trip.


Motion carried.


Dr. Chen announced that public comment would be taken.†††


Ruth Windhover, President of HCEA said that on behalf of the Highline Education Association, she wished to register the Associationís strong support for Dr. Bellís leadership and their complete confidence in her.They are shocked and dismayed at the actions of the Board and wished to make clear that the union was not consulted concerning Dr. Bellís performance, and that they considered her to be an exemplary leader and advocate for the College.


Trustee Ed Davila responded that this decision was a disappointment and a shock to the Board also; however, because of philosophical differences that had arisen and in the best interest of the College they felt unanimously that this was the only decision they could make.He stated that the Board cares about Dr. Bell but cannot discuss the details of the contract termination due to confidentiality.They recognized Dr. Bellís support and leadership to faculty, staff and students. He stated that the Board values everyone on the campus and believes in what the institution represents and will do whatever necessary to protect, sustain, and provide opportunities for the College to continue to succeed.††


Dr Chen said that as long as Dr. Bell has been at Highline, the Board has always been a very strong supporter of Dr. Bell.They supported her decisions and backed her on almost all her decisions and really appreciated her contributions to the College and that this was a very hard decision for the Board.They assured everyone that the Collegeís best interest was their number one concern when they made this decision and that this was a very tough decision.


Trustee Creighton also said that this was a very difficult decision for the Board to make personally and collectively.She also wanted to assure everyone that no one was included in the decision because there were legalities as to why that was not allowed.As the College moves forward, it is very important to the Board to involve the whole campus and to have the search process for replacing the president to be collaborative and they will be requesting support and input from all constituent groups on campus.


Trustee Vander Ark said that this was a very heart breaking, very difficult decision for the Board to go through but it is very important that everyone remember the importance of what Highline Community College is about and the importance of our presence in the community for our citizens and for our community.


Dr. Chen said that the Board will be examining processes and procedures for the search process and will involve the whole campus which is very important to the Board.An interim president is necessary at present and the Board has every confidence in Dr. Bermingham to provide the leadership to continue to move the College forward with its initiatives.She restated that this was a very tough decision and that everyone should remember that the College is the Boardís number one priority and everyone will work together to move forward.


At 10:55 a.m. the Board adjourned to Executive Session for approximately 30 minutes to discuss performance of a public employee.


The Board reconvened at 11:35 a.m.



The meeting was adjourned at 11:35 a.m.


Next Regularly Scheduled Meeting of the Board of Trustees

The next regularly scheduled meeting of the Board of Trustees will be December 14, 2006.


††††††††††† 8:00 a.m.†††††† Study Session†††††††††††† Building 25, Room 411

††††††††††† 10:00 a.m.†††††† Meeting††††††††††††††††††††††† Building 25, Board Room




______________________________††††††††††† _________________________________

Elizabeth Chen, Chair†††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† Jack Bermingham, Secretary