Dr. Mildred W. Ollee named President of Seattle Central Community College

SEATTLE – Dr. Mildred W. Ollee, an educator and administrator with experience at colleges throughout the Pacific Northwest, has been named president of Seattle Central Community College.

Following a national search and recommendations by a campus wide committee, she was selected by Dr. Charles H. Mitchell, Seattle Community Colleges chancellor-elect and current president of Seattle Central.

"Dr. Ollee thoroughly understands our mission of diversity and excellence," Mitchell said. "Her outstanding leadership skills, proven ability to lead an urban institution, and exceptional ability to establish meaningful connections with her community make her especially well suited to serve as Seattle Central’s next president."

Dr. Ollee will be a strong addition to the leadership team at the Seattle Community College District, said District Chancellor Peter C. Ku. "Her years of experience as a member of a multi-campus metropolitan college will be invaluable."

Ollee began her career in higher education 35 years ago as a faculty member at Walla Walla Community College. In 1970, she became a counselor at Seattle Central Community College and rose to the position of Vice President of Student Services, a job she held from 1987 to 1995.

In 1995, she became Executive Dean/CEO of Cascade Campus in the Portland Community College District. At Cascade, Dr. Ollee oversees a diverse urban college that serves more than 18,000 students annually, as well as three Workforce Training Centers that serve an additional 16,000 people. She manages a total budget of $38.2 million and is currently involved in an $82 million capital project for the Portland system. Known for her active community involvement and many collaborative projects, Dr. Ollee has established successful relationships with local, state, and national agencies that have led to increased financial support for the college and awards for excellence in workforce development programs.

"I am proud to return to Seattle Central and particularly for the opportunity to work with the talented faculty and staff at the college," Ollee said. "Seattle Central has a national reputation for excellence, and I look forward to the opportunity to build upon this fine reputation by continuing to positively affect the lives of our students."

Dr. Ollee will take over for Dr. Charles H. Mitchell, who will assume the chancellorship of the Seattle Community College District on July 1. She will lead an institution that was named a TIME Magazine "College of the Year" in 2001 based upon its unique culture of multiculturalism and high quality instruction and student support. The college, which served 20,544 students last year, was established in 1966 in Seattle’s Capitol Hill neighborhood. The new president will begin her duties in September, directing more than 900 full- and part-time employees.

Her wide-ranging civic activities and board memberships include work with Park Hill Rotary; the Urban League of Portland; American Association of Community Colleges Commission on Academic, Student, and Community Development; The President’s Roundtable; United Way; Northwest International Woman’s Conference; Private Industry Council; Western Governors; Homestead Capital dba Oregon Corporation of Affordable Housing; and Tacoma and Portland Chapters, The Links, Inc.

Dr. Ollee earned her doctorate in educational leadership from Seattle University in 1988. She also holds a master’s degree in education from Walla Walla College and a bachelor’s degree in Education, English, and Social Science from Xavier University of Louisiana.

The Seattle Community College District serves all of metropolitan Seattle and its surrounding communities, with a combined enrollment of more than 54,000 students at North Seattle, South Seattle and Seattle Central Community Colleges; Seattle Vocational Institute; and five training centers located throughout the city.