KENT — WGU Washington, the online, nonprofit university, announced today that Dr. Tonya Drake will lead the university as Chancellor. Drake’s tenure as Chancellor will begin April 26, 2018, following the retirement of Dr. Rich Cummins earlier this year.
A leader in higher education for nearly 25 years, Drake joins WGU Washington from Edmonds Community College, where she was the Vice President for College Relations and Advancement. Prior to joining Edmonds, 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,” said Drake. “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. State-endorsed and nonprofit, the online, competency-based university offers more than 60 bachelor’s and master’s degrees in business, information technology, K-12 teacher education, and health professions, including nursing.