Olympic College VP leaves for state board of community colleges role

Barbara Martin - Courtesy Photo
Barbara Martin
— image credit: Courtesy Photo

Barbara Martin, Olympic College’s vice president of administrative services, will leave her post next month to take a position with the State Board of Community and Technical Colleges.

Her resignation was announced by Olympic College President David Mitchell in a campus e-mail Feb. 9, which described the move as “a huge loss for Olympic College.”

After four-and-a-half years at Olympic College, Martin leaves behind a prominent trail of achievements, such as the construction of the $30 million Humanities and Student Services building and the $4.5 million Sophia Bremer Child Develop-ment Center, both finished last year.

Mitchell said Martin was instrumental in the design work and proposals that ultimately helped those construction projects compete for state money. She also helped advance the Warren Avenue parking lot project now under construction. But Martin said her daily duties overseeing the budget were at least as satisfying.

“Certainly the construction projects are visible accomplishments, but the day-to-day business of managing budgets and working with the staff to keep the books is really good,” Martin said. “I have a great staff and working with them has been a real highlight for me.”

Starting next month, Martin will take on her new position with the State Board of Community and Technical Colleges Information Technology Department as the Enterprise Resource Platform director. The Bellevue-based job will entail updating management software to a modern platform.

She will commute to the job from her home in Kingston, she said.

Before heading administrative services at Olympic College, Martin, a Longview native, held the same post for three years at Peninsula College in Port Angeles and also at Bellevue College – formerly Bellevue Community College – for six years. Previous to her community college work, she worked in a similar position for the Fairbanks North Star Borough School District in Alaska.

In addition to her accomplishments on construction projects, Mitchell said Martin has also helped the school stretch its dollars in the midst of state budget cuts in the last few years. The school announced $1.3 million in reductions from its $30 million budget in November, after having cut $4 million and 31 positions since 2008.

“Even with our serious budget crisis, she was able to maintain financial health,” Mitchell said of Martin.

She also helped update Olympic College’s technology, Mitchell added.

Her scope of work covered several different areas, from finances to human resources to information technology to facilities, Martin said.

The school aims to bring an interim vice president in the next few weeks and find a permanent replacement by July, Mitchell said.

The person who replaces her will have to continue current construction projects and grapple with more expected budget cuts, Martin said.

“They’ll have to keep balancing the budget during these tough economic times,” she said.

Next on Olympic College’s construction wish list is a new College Instructional Center, a 75,000 square-foot building that would house art, music, theater and possibly the nursing program. The pre-design work on the building is being completed so the project can compete for design money this legislative session. The school hopes to receive $3.5 million in design money this summer and then obtain $50 million to start construction on the building in July 2013. However, given the state’s estimated $4.6 billion deficit, that money can’t be counted on right away.

“It isn’t looking too good, but we’re still hopeful,” Martin said.

Martin is the second vice president in the past year to resign from Olympic College. Former Vice President of Student Services Rick MacLennan announced his departure in April 2010 and left that June to become president of Garrett College, a community college in McHenry, Md. The search for MacLennan’s permanent replacement will begin with a search committee meeting next week, Mitchell said. Interim Vice President of Student Services Dan Chacon has indicated to Mitchell he will not apply for the permanent position.

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