The Washtenaw Community College Board of Trustees unanimously voted Tuesday night to extend the contract of Dr. Rose B. Bellanca as President and Chief Executive Officer through 2025.
With more than 20 years of executive leadership in higher education, Bellanca was named WCC’s fourth president in 2011. Now in her 11th year, she is responsible for the organization, administration and strategic direction of the college, which typically serves more than 100,000 students and community members a year, employs almost 1,300 full- and part-time employees and has an operational budget of more than $100 million.
“I’d like to thank the Board of Trustees for its support. It is my privilege to serve our students and this community, equipping students for bright futures and developing the talent pipeline in support of the Washtenaw County workforce,” Bellanca said.
At just $95 per credit hour for in-district students – an annual average of $2,280 for a full-time student – WCC offers one of the lowest tuitions in the state. The college has developed 62 academic transfer programs with four-year colleges and universities, providing affordable and seamless transfer paths to a bachelor’s degree. In the past year, WCC launched additional transfer partnerships with Historically Black Colleges and Universities to increase access to minority students.
Bellanca has been the driving force behind innovations in workforce development, especially in the area of automated transportation and mobility, and a STEAM-focused (Science, Technology, Engineering, Art and Math) education.
WCC recently opened an expanded automotive cybersecurity lab and has been integrating its new Ford Mustang Mach-E electric vehicle into the curriculum to prepare students for mobility jobs of the future.
Under Bellanca’s leadership, WCC launched the Advanced Transportation Center in 2014 to provide a multidisciplinary approach to workforce training. For the past six years, WCC has been the only community college in the University of Michigan Transportation Research Institute’s Center for Connected & Automated Transportation grant and next year will host the group’s Global Symposium on campus.
During her presidency, Bellanca has guided the overwhelming community passage of two millage ballot proposals, by a 77.5% margin in 2020 and a 70% margin in 2016, and has led the $13.5 million renovation of the community-used Morris Lawrence Building.