Big Bend President Leas announces retirement

President Leas Headshot
Terry Leas — President

Office of Communications

MOSES LAKE — In a special meeting of the Board of Trustees on Thursday morning, Big Bend Community College (BBCC) President Dr. Terry Leas gave notice of his intent to retire effective at the end of his current contract June 30, 2020.

Leas will complete his eighth year as President and the 48th year of his professional career as an educator before retiring. He came to Big Bend in 2012 after spending 9 years as the President at Riverland Community College in Minnesota.

Leas cited health issues within his family, and the desire to spend more time with family, as the impetus for his decision. He noted that he had expected to retire in 2020 or 2021 regardless and that a recent incident confirmed the earlier date.

“My mother is 97 years old; she lives with my wife and me and needs more hands-on care. After she recently fell while I was out of town on business, I realized that I needed to be able to be at home with both her and my wife more. ” Leas told the board. “I have mixed feelings; Big Bend has been a huge part of my life and the lives of my family. It has been a privilege to serve, and I want to thank you all for the opportunity.”

The trustees each thanked Leas for his service to the college and for giving them a significant window of opportunity to conduct a search for his replacement. Board President Stephen McFadden said that the trustees would set a date for a workshop in September to discuss whether the board will conduct the search for BBCC’s 10th president internally, or whether they will look for a consulting firm to aid in the process.

“When we hired you, we were looking for someone who could lead us forward with a new set of eyes and I am confident that we made the right decision,” McFadden said. “I also want to say that I have enjoyed working with you and that over the next year we still have a lot of work left to do and a lot of things we want to accomplish — I look forward to that as well.”

McFadden told those in attendance that after the September workshop, the trustees would make the announcement on how they plan to move forward with the search at the October 15th meeting of the Board of Trustees.

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