EvCC taps human resources vice president to serve as acting president

Joseph Whalen joined the college in July. He will fill in after Daria Willis leaves Dec. 31 for a new job.

Joseph Whalen

Joseph Whalen

EVERETT — Everett Community College’s Board of Trustees named Joseph Whalen, the school’s vice president of human resources, to serve as acting president Tuesday night.

He will fill in after President Daria Willis’ last day Dec. 31. Willis is leaving to run Howard Community College in Columbia, Maryland.

“I’ve just been very impressed with Joe’s rise to the challenge,” Board Chairwoman Toraya Miller said during the trustees meeting Tuesday evening.

Whalen joined Everett Community College this summer. Previously, he worked in human resources for 18 years in health care, defense and government, according to a press release.

“I look forward to continuing to uphold the legacy of this college,” he said.

Whalen got his associate’s degree from North Idaho College, a bachelor’s degree from Eastern Washington University and a master’s degree from St. Edward’s University.

He will serve until the board selects an interim president while it searches for a new executive to lead the school’s daily operations.

“We are very committed to this assignment for you, Joe, and you do have the full support of the board,” Trustee Betty Cobbs said.

Whalen will step into the top role just after a heated debate took place over the school’s Early Learning and Education Center.

Last month college leaders were criticized for plans, which they later halted, to close the centerand instead lease it to an outside agency to run similar programs and child care.

Discussions about the center’s future are ongoing.

Ben Watanabe: bwatanabe@heraldnet.com; 425-339-3037; Twitter @benwatanabe.

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