Seattle Colleges has appointed an interim chancellor.
The board of trustees formally appointed Rosie Rimando-Chareunsap to the position Friday, after conducting a monthslong search for someone to temporarily helm the community college district following former Chancellor Shouan Pan’s departure earlier this year. Pan stepped down from the position this summer, after he and the board came to an agreement to end his contract two years early.
Rimando-Chareunsap initially took on the role of acting chancellor following Pan’s departure, and as the newly appointed interim chancellor will continue to oversee the college district’s three campuses — South Seattle College, North Seattle College and Seattle Central College.
She’s worked in the community college district for more than two decades, joining the South Seattle College as a student success specialist in 2000 and eventually becoming South Seattle College’s president in 2018. She has also served as the college district’s vice chancellor of equity, diversity and inclusion.
In an email shared with Seattle Colleges staff, board president Louise Chernin said the board felt Rimando-Chareunsap would “provide the necessary leadership and vision” through the next year and as the search for a permanent chancellor begins. She will likely stay in the interim role through June 2023.
The appointment comes amid a number of challenges for Seattle Colleges, following years of declining enrollment. District officials revealed earlier this year that the schools are faced with a massive budget crisis years in the making as international student enrollment continues to drop, and suggested that four popular trades and technical divisions could be eliminated to make up for the gap.
Officials later reversed course following swift pushback to the suggested cuts and kept enrollment for those programs open for the current academic year, though their futures remain uncertain. Local education and policy leaders are now exploring what state-level funding changes are needed to support those and other programs at community colleges across Washington, with the hopes lawmakers will implement some of those changes during the next legislative session.