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After 27 years on campus, Marlene Harlan to retire April 2

  • Marlene Harlan portrait in front of a vivid blue background

Outreach and Continuing Education's Marlene Harlan will retire on April 2 after a 27-year career at Western.

Marlene has held a variety of roles in Outreach and Continuing Education, and has overseen almost every aspect of OCE (formerly Extended Education & Summer Program) at some point in her tenure, including  Marketing, Conferences, Youth Programs, Summer Session, Faculty-Led-Travel, Puget Sound West and Puget Sound East location programs and Professional Development efforts.  She currently leads a team that supports Western’s academic programs offered in Everett and self-sustaining degree programs in Bellingham.  In addition, her team supports a variety of professional and continuing education programs and Western’s Summer Session.  

Marlene has worked with and supported many Western faculty and staff in the development of youth to active adult programming that expanded education access to a variety of audiences in and away from Bellingham. Her versatility has allowed the organization to pivot to better address the changing needs of the institution and the community-at-large.

Marlene’s collaborative approach to institutional initiatives has been recognized across our campus, and her presence and efforts will be missed.

“Throughout Marlene’s career, her work has been characterized by a deep concern for the students, faculty, and staff that she serves. Her engagement has resulted in numerous successful projects and enriched the Western community, and it is with great appreciation, and not a little sense of loss, that we wish Marlene all the very best in her retirement,” said Robert Squires, vice provost for Outreach and Continuing Education at Western.

Noted here just some of the many projects that Marlene has collaborated on: 
Small Business Development Center in Kitsap (2020) - This team was able to create broad community enthusiasm and secure support from five different funders to expand Western’s presence on the Peninsulas with a new Small Business Development Center (SBDC). 
Salish Sea Ecosystem Conference (2014) -This team was recognized for the development and support of the Salish Sea Institute in acquiring and administering support for the Salish Sea Ecosystem Conference. Marlene was awarded the Presidential Team Recognition Award for her role in establishing the Salish Sea Ecosystem Conference at Western:

Marlene also served on Western’s Professional Staff Organization (PSO) Executive Committee, including serving as PSO President in 2017-18, and was instrumental in the PSO Compensations Standards review and update.
Marlene was a first generation and nontraditional student that completed a Master of Education in Adult Education and a bachelor’s degree in Business Management both while working at Western .
We wish Marlene every happiness as she transitions to life as a retiree after a remarkable career at Western Washington University.

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Wednesday, March 3, 2021 - 10:53am