By Sarah Kasten, Patti Norton and Matthew Phillips
Clark College Board of Trustees Chair Royce Pollard will retire from his position on May 31, the Board of Trustees announced in a campus-wide email on Thursday.
Pollard has served on the Board for three terms, after being appointed in 2016 as board chair.
“Clark College is grateful to Royce Pollard for his service to the college and his many years of leadership and service to the community,” Clark College President Bob Knight wrote in an email.
Pollard submitted his resignation to Washington Governor Jay Inslee on May 20, citing a need to focus attention on his family.
“I think we all respect and honor his decision to put his family’s needs first,” Knight wrote.
Vice Chair Jane Jacobsen will assume the position of Board Chair while the Governor’s office begins the search to appoint a new Board member. In the email, Pollard stated that the timing of his decision is important, as he wants Governor Inslee to have time to make a new appointment.
Before being appointed to the Board in 2010, Pollard served as the Mayor of Vancouver from 1996 to 2010. An Army veteran, he entered the service in 1961, serving two years in the Vietnam War. Pollard served as the Commander of the Vancouver Barracks before retiring in 1988.
Pollard was honored as Clark County’s First Citizen in 2010. “Royce has a long record of service to our country, our community and our college,” Knight wrote. “He’s a steadfast and impassioned leader who has been instrumental in the growth of this community and this college.”
Pollard’s departure comes at a tumultuous time, as several Clark community members have expressed frustration with Pollard’s leadership in recent months At the May 22 Board of Trustees meeting, numerous audience members erupted in angry comments toward Pollard after some in the audience said they believed that he mistook former AHE President Kimberly Sullivan – a tenured English professor of several years – for an adjunct instructor.
“He doesn’t even know who she is,” one audience member said.
Correction: A previous version of this story incorrectly stated that Pollard mistook Kimberly Sullivan for an adjunct. This story has since been updated to reflect that audience members believe that Pollard mistook Sullivan for an adjunct.