VANCOUVER, Wash. – Clark College announced last week that Rashida Willard has accepted the position of Vice President of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion at the college effective immediately.
“Rashida has earned the respect of her peers, our students and the community as a strong and effective leader,” said Clark College Interim President Sandra Fowler-Hill who made the appointment. “She has created and developed structures, spaces and programs to help remove barriers for students and she’s leading the effort to create a culturally competent campus to help students succeed. The college is thrilled to make this announcement.”
Willard joined Clark College four years ago as Operations Manager of Administrative Services. She has taught as an adjunct professor, has served as Director of Operations and Risk Manager, and for the past 17 months has served as Interim Associate Vice President of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion.
During that time, she has developed, aligned and integrated new and existing initiatives and procedures into a cohesive platform to foster a more inclusive, welcoming and diverse college community.
“I am deeply invested in this work, and am passionate about creating inclusive, safe and welcoming environments where all students have maximum opportunities to succeed,” Willard said. “I am eager to move forward in community and collaboration, building on our team’s momentum of the last several months.”
Willard was a participant and graduate of the Social Justice Leadership Institute for the Washington State Community College System in 2017-2018 and was nominated as a Real Hero by the Learn Here Project in 2018. She is also a part of the Vancouver Police Chief’s Diversity Advisory Team.
Willard holds a master’s degree in Business Administration, a bachelor’s degree in Business Administration, and an associate degree in Organizational Dynamics. She is currently attending Concordia University, pursuing a doctorate in Education with a concentration in Professional Leadership, Inquiry and Transformation. Her current research explores strategies that faculty and staff employ to create culturally engaging spaces for students of color attending predominantly white institutions and how campus racial climate affects their persistence and completion rates. This research will be used to examine and identify strategies to close the equity gap among students of color in higher education.
Located in Vancouver’s Central Park and serving up to 11,500 students per quarter, Clark College is Southwest Washington’s oldest public institution of higher education. The college currently offers classes at two satellite locations: one on the Washington State University Vancouver campus and one in the Columbia Tech Center in East Vancouver. Additionally, its Economic & Community Development program is housed in the Columbia Bank building in downtown Vancouver.