Q13 FOX Season of Giving

President of Green River College resigns after protests, strikes over proposed budget cuts

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Eileen Ely on Thursday, June 16, announced she would resign as president of Green River College, effective immediately. (Photo: Greenriver.edu)

AUBURN, Wash. — Green River College President Eileen Ely announced Thursday that she will step down as president, effective immediately.  The move comes after student protests and a faculty strike over proposed cuts.

On May 23, faculty members went on strike to protest cuts proposed by the administration. The community college has proposed eliminating 11 programs and courses due to a $4 million budget shortfall. Students have conducted a few protest marches and rallies against the proposed cuts, too.

The Green River United Faculty Coalition says some professors could lose their jobs, and the union has voted three times that it has no confidence in the leadership of Ely as college president.

On Thursday, the Board of Trustees for Green River College said in a news release that it had accepted Ely’s resignation and that it is working with the State Board for Community and Technical Colleges (SBCTC) to “identify and retain a suitable candidate for interim president, as the College prepares to launch a national search for a successor. ”

The board appointed Shirley Bean, vice president for Business Administration, and Marshall Sampson, vice president of Human Resources and Legal Affairs, to share the duties of acting president at Green River, until the interim president is appointed.

Pete Lewis, chairman of the Green River College Board of Trustees, said of Ely: We wish the best for her, as she prepares to move on to other endeavors.”