Tuesday, April 17, 2012

April 17, 2012 Contact: John Boesenberg, 360-704-4303

Earl announces retirement from State Board for Community and Technical Colleges

Olympia - Charlie Earl, executive director for the Washington State Board for Community and Technical Colleges, today announced his plan to retire, effective July 31.

Earl’s career has spanned more than 40 years in a variety of government capacities. Most recently, he worked for six years in the current role as executive director of the state community college system, and seven years as president of Everett Community College. Prior to that, Earl served as deputy county executive in King County and general manager of Snohomish County Public Utility District.

Earl spoke of the tremendous opportunities the community and technical colleges provide Washingtonians. “People have better lives based on the learning opportunities provided by our colleges,” Earl said in announcing his intent to retire.

With offices in Olympia and Bellevue, the State Board has 140 staff working with the community and technical colleges in education policy, operating and capital funding, accountability measurement, information technology and the statewide higher education strategy. During Earl’s tenure, the 34 colleges have seen state funded enrollment grow from 250,000 to 330,000 students.

According to Sharon Fairchild, chair of the State Board, the Washington community and technical college system has been recognized nationally for its innovation. Such innovations implemented by the 2-year college system during Earl’s tenure include the student achievement performance award, opportunity grants, applied baccalaureate (4-year) degrees and the open course library – all designed to promote student access and progress towards their education and work goals. “Charlie has led collaborative strategic planning efforts and produced vital programs that have and will shape the future of our colleges and system. He’s been an effective advocate and champion for our students and colleges. The Board thanks Charlie for his leadership, vision, energy and commitment.”

Earl offered that, despite the 22 percent cut in state funding during the recession, the colleges are financially and educationally sound. “College faculty, staff and administrators have put their shoulders to the wheel, educating more people and achieving higher graduation rates with less money. They deserve the public’s thanks!”

Earl also thanked the State Board staff and leaders of key system organizations that are part of the community and technical college family. “I’m grateful for having the chance to work with such great leaders in the service of students.”

The nine-member, governor-appointed State Board will launch a regional and national search for a new executive director.

More boats, bikes and books are in Earl’s immediate future – as well as looking for ways to continue to contribute to our great state as opportunities may arise.

About the Washington State Board for Community and Technical Colleges:

The State Board for Community and Technical Colleges is led by a Governor-appointed board and provides leadership, advocacy, and coordination for Washington’s system of 34 public community and technical colleges. Community and technical college students train for the workforce, prepare to transfer to a university, gain basic math and English skills, or pursue continuing education. Visit our website at SBCTC.edu.

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