Online nonprofit university WGU Washington announced April 18 that Tonya Drake of Edmonds Community College will lead the university as chancellor. Drake will begin her job April 26.
In higher education for nearly 25 years, Drake has worked at Edmonds Community College since 2013, starting as special assistant to the president for equity and inclusion. In 2014, she was named interim vice president for college relations and advancement, a position that became permanent in 2015.
Prior to joining Edmonds CC, she held leadership positions at other institutions, including Shoreline Community College, Maricopa Community College District, Arizona Board of Regents, Arizona State University, and the University of Washington.
“Tonya Drake’s commitment to student success and her belief in the transformative power of higher learning align perfectly with the mission of WGU,” said WGU President Scott D. Pulsipher. “We look forward to accelerating the fulfillment of our mission to expand higher education opportunity and access in Washington with Tonya as our WGU Washington Chancellor.”
Drake earned advanced degrees from Arizona State University, including a Ph.D. in Education Leadership and Policy Studies. She is a graduate of the University of Washington’s Foster School of Business and — with a degree from Lower Columbia College — a product of Washington state’s community and technical college system.
“The opportunity to provide leadership for WGU Washington, the state’s largest private, nonprofit university, is very exciting,” Drake said. “With its innovative, competency-based approach, the university offers personal support to ensure students succeed and delivers affordable, in-demand degree programs to meet Washington’s workforce needs.”
WGU Washington, established by the State Legislature in 2011, now has more than 11,000 students currently enrolled and more than 11,000 graduates. It offers more than 60 bachelor’s and master’s degrees in business, information technology, K-12 teacher education, and health professions, including nursing.