Everett Community College President Resigning To Be Closer To Family

November 4, 2021

Everett Schools

Word in from Everett Community College that President Daria Willis announced her resignation to students and staff this morning. Here’s the press release sent out from EvCC.

Dr. Daria Willis photo courtesy Everett Community College.

Everett Community College President Daria Willis is resigning and will leave EvCC at the end of December to serve as the next president of Howard Community College in Columbia, Maryland.

Willis, who started at EvCC in July 2019, announced her resignation Thursday morning to students, faculty and staff. She will be Howard’s first African American president.

“This was a very difficult decision as I have enjoyed the progress we have made on behalf of students. This new position will bring me closer to my family, and it will offer me another opportunity to lead a college whose mission is providing pathways to success. It is an honor to lead at EvCC and I am extremely proud of the resiliency of our students, faculty and staff during the pandemic,” Willis said.

EvCC’s Board of Trustees will meet in executive session on Monday to discuss future leadership of the college. No decisions will be made at that time. The board will make an announcement at a future date, which has yet to be determined.

“The board is committed to working with Dr. Willis and the college community for a smooth and successful transition,” said Board Chair Toraya Miller. “While we are sorry that Dr. Willis is leaving EvCC, we are grateful for her many accomplishments during her time here.”

Miller noted that EvCC was the first community college in the country to face COVID-19, with the first case in the United States diagnosed at the hospital a few blocks away from EvCC. Willis provided outstanding leadership throughout the pandemic, Miller said, including partnering with the Tulalip Tribes to offer a COVID-19 vaccine clinic to more than 500 students, faculty and staff.

During Willis’ presidency, EvCC also secured $43.5 million from the Washington state Legislature to fund construction of the new Cascade Learning Resource Center; received $2.5 million in grants from the U.S. Department of Education to support TRiO and STEM programs for students of color, students who are low-income and students with disabilities; and earned a $50,000 Rise Prize grant and part of a $100,000 Washington Department of Labor grant went to the development and launch of a Weekend College for adult students and student parents.

“Throughout her work at EvCC, Dr. Willis has demonstrated a commitment to equity, student success and closing achievement gaps, informed by her own experiences as a young single mother who struggled to graduate from college,” Miller said. “She is a trailblazer.”

One innovative way Willis found to support students was using Higher Education Emergency Relief Funds (HEERF) to cancel $1.2 million in student debt owed to the college for more than 3,000 students who attended classes spring quarter 2020 through summer quarter 2021. The college is also providing free on-campus housing for the 2021-22 academic year for current students enrolled in 12 or more credits.

Willis has served the Everett community and Washington state as a member of the Community Mission board for Providence Regional Medical Center, Snohomish Aerospace Task Force, Girl Scouts of Western Washington board, Seattle Chapter of the International Women’s Forum, Economic Alliance of Snohomish County board and the board of the United Way of Snohomish County. She also serves on the Washington Lottery Commission through a gubernatorial appointment.

Willis currently sits on the national advisory board for the Phi Theta Kappa international college honor society and serves on the American Association of Community Colleges’ Commission on Diversity, Inclusion, and Equity. In October, Willis was recently named a 2021 Aspen Institute Ascend Fellow, dedicated to empowering children and families across the country.


About My Everett News Staff

My Everett News is a hyperlocal news website featuring news and events in Everett, Washington. We also cover City of Everett information and items of interest to those who live, work, and play in Everett.

View all posts by My Everett News Staff