College of Lake County President Jerry Weber is leaving to take a similar job in suburban Seattle.
Bellevue College's board of trustees Tuesday night held a special meeting to hire Weber as the school's president. Roughly 10 miles from Seattle, the school in Bellevue, Washington, has about 32,000 students and offers two- and four-year degrees.
Weber said he privately informed CLC trustees Tuesday night he accepted the Bellevue College job. He said he plans to be at CLC for the next three months, working with the board of trustees and school cabinet to ensure continuity in leadership, programs and services.
Forging partnerships with Lake County communities, creating a more welcoming campus environment and launching sustainability initiatives are some of what Weber said he's proud of in his eight-year CLC career. Under Weber, CLC's sustainability achievements include a campus learning farm and rooftop solar thermal panels that generate hot water.
"I believe that CLC is poised to continue to grow stronger, grounded in our core values: Our mission of service to our communities and the enterprising spirit embodied in students, staff and faculty," Weber said.
Longtime CLC Trustee Richard Anderson credited Weber for his interest in sustainability and for guiding the school through major renovation projects. He said a nationwide search for a new president is expected.
"Jerry is an interesting man," Anderson said. "He's easy to work with, but sometimes he's not so easy to work with."
CLC board Chairman William Griffin in a statement thanked Weber for leading the college through many changes. He said Weber will be "missed greatly."
"Under Dr. Weber's tenure, CLC has earned national awards in diversity, sustainability and international education, among others," Griffin said.
Weber was one of three finalists for Bellevue College's top administrative job. Before his hiring, Weber attended a Bellevue College open forum March 23 to answer questions and meet students, employees and the community at large.
Weber complimented Bellevue College's dedication to student success, equity, sustainability and diversity.
Bellevue College board Chairwoman Lisa Chin listed some reasons Weber was selected to lead Washington's third-largest college, established 50 years ago. The school conducted a nationwide search to find its next president.
"Dr. Weber brings a track record of exceptional leadership, a deep commitment to the values we cherish and a passion for creating pathways to success for traditional and nontraditional learners," Chin said Wednesday.
Weber started as Grayslake-based CLC's president in April 2009, after serving eight years as Kankakee Community College's president.
Bellevue College hired Weber over Texas A&M University-Central Texas Chief Advancement Officer Karen Lynn Clos and Angelia Millender, president of Olive-Harvey College in Chicago.