The Washtenaw Community College Board of Trustees voted to extend the contract of President and CEO Dr. Rose B. Bellanca to June 30, 2021.
The vote was held during the Board of Trustees' June meeting. Dr. Bellanca’s 2018-2019 salary will be increased by 1.5 percent to $220,785.
“The Board is pleased to extend President Bellanca’s contract and looks forward to the continued success of WCC under her leadership,” Diana McKnight-Morton, chair of the WCC Board of Trustees, said of Tuesday night’s 6-0 vote (trustee David DeVarti was absent).
Successes under Dr. Bellanca’s leadership over the past year include:
- Success rates: According to the Center for Educational Performance and Information’s (CEPI) most recent report on success rates for community colleges in Michigan, WCC leads the state for degree-seeking students successfully completing a degree or certificate after two years or transferring to a four-year college. WCC’s two-year postsecondary success rate is 49 percent higher than the state average. WCC’s success rates also exceed the state average after four and six years by 14 percent and 18 percent respectively.
- Enrollment: The college’s enrollment was up 1.4 percent and has remained approximately steady over three years, while totals at public two-year colleges across the United States dropped by 9.6 percent over the same three-year span, according to a report from the American Association of Community Colleges.
- Affordability: Expanded use of Open Education Resources – free, open-source educational resources that cover the same classroom material found in expensive textbooks – saved students more than $1 million. In addition, the college award $1.3 million in scholarships and $18,000 in emergency funds to help students stay in school. Scholarships and fundraising also increased by 44 percent and 36 percent respectively.
- Economic Impact: According to a new report by Emsi, WCC’s total economic value and impact on Washtenaw County in FY 2016-17 was $524.1 million and supported 7,897 jobs.
- Advanced Transportation Center: The College continues to receive recognition for its Advanced Transportation Center. The state approved nearly $2 million for the construction of the ATC building on campus, which is scheduled to be completed in Jan. 2020. WCC also hosted the inaugural Smart Cities Symposium in April, becoming the first community college in the country to host such an event.
- Securing grants: Grant funding to the college increased to a total of $7.4 million, which includes $1.4 million in new state and federal grants, $1.7 million in renewable grants and $4.3 million in continuing multi-year grants.
- Eastern Washtenaw County: WCC has continued to provide vital support for youth, high school and adult education programs through its involvement with the Parkridge Community Center, Ypsilanti High School, Ypsilanti STEMM Middle College and Ypsilanti Township Community Center. The college also offers free GED classes and career assistance at Harriet Street Center.
- International Education: The college signed MOUs with two technical colleges in China – Liaoning Vocational College and Guidaojiaotong Polytechnic Institute – to work on creating opportunities for faculty and students.
About Rose B. Bellanca, Ed.D.
Dr. Rose B. Bellanca is the President and CEO of Washtenaw Community College in Ann Arbor, Mich. In this position, she is responsible for the organization, administration and strategic direction of the college, which serves more than 100,000 students and community members a year, employs nearly 1,500 full- and part-time employees, and has an operational budget of more than $100 million.
Dr. Bellanca has more than 20 years of executive leadership in higher education. Prior to coming to Washtenaw Community College, Dr. Bellanca held C-level positions at Northwood University, St. Clair Community College and Macomb Community College. She is the fourth president to lead Washtenaw Community College, since its inception in 1965.
Under her leadership, WCC has maintained steady college enrollment during a period of national decline, and she has implemented numerous innovations in teaching and student services to respond proactively to the disruptive forces in higher education.
She has led seven successful public millage campaigns and has raised millions of dollars in private fund raising, most recently raising more than $15 million in scholarships and grants, including a successful $8.5 million private fund raising campaign within a twenty-month period. In August 2016, Washtenaw County voters passed a ten-year, $12.5 million millage renewal, with 70.4% voter approval.