Welcome Provost Daria Willis!

Top of Story Daria Willis, Provost

Daria J. Willis, Ph.D. is the new Provost and Senior Vice President for Academic Affairs at Onondaga Community College. Her first day on the job was July 5. Willis is beginning the process of introducing herself across campus. “My main focus my first year is building relationships with students, faculty and staff.”

Willis comes to OCC from Lee College in Baytown, Texas where she served as Dean of Academic Studies. Prior to Lee College she was an administrator at Lone Star College in Houston, Texas. Willis has also been a faculty member at both of those colleges along with Florida A&M University and Tallahassee Community College. She earned bachelor’s and master’s degrees at Florida A&M University and a doctorate from Florida State University.

The furthest north Willis has ever lived is her hometown of Atlanta, Georgia. How did she wind up in the heart of the snow belt? “We were looking for a more socially-minded environment, more liberal, more open-minded. We wanted to try something different and wound up in New York! We’re all about exploring and being adventurous. Why get a Ph.D. and stay at home?”

As OCC’s Provost, Willis is the senior academic administrator. The College’s academic deans will report to her and she will report to College President Dr. Casey Crabill.

Willis is a strong supporter of the College’s commitment to Achieving The Dream, a program focused on access to a high quality education in an inclusive environment. “It’s very important. It helps with student success and retention. I like the aspect of focusing on the students who might need more resources to help them complete. I worked with Achieving The Dream at Lone Star College and Lee College as well.”

As Willis begins her work at the College and navigates through her first year she plans to enjoy the journey. “I’m all about success, equality and having fun. We are here a good chunk of our lives working together. We may as well like each other while we’re doing it and have a little fun in the process!”

There are 9 comments

  1. Irma Branch

    WELCOME!!!! My son will be new to the College this upcoming semester so that will be a bit of history you two can share when he graduates!!! Congratulations and have a wonderful summer!!!

    Like

  2. Sandra

    Dr. Daria Willis,
    Congratulations, you are truly an inspiration! Looking forward to the all the great and wonderful things to come!

    Like

    1. Samuel L Criss

      Awesome!!! My son is starting OCC in August, his first choice was SU, however he was not able to get in at this time. I talked to him about not giving up his “dream” (now we see “Achieving your Dream”) and found out about 2+2 and the dual admission to SU. After seeing ACHIEVING YOUR DREAM, it just confirms that he is in the right place and at the right time. Wishing you and the students great success. God bless. SLC

      Like

      1. Barbara Simmons-Criss

        Great! My daughter is also starting OCC in August, although she is very exciting about being a teacher like her grandmother and aunts. I am happy, sad, relieved and scared at the same time for her. After months of stress and anxiousness, I feel she is stepping into her dreams of becoming more mature by the day. I never forgot my first day of college, I trust she will be in good hands with Dr. Willis at the wheel. I am indeed grateful for OCC for welcoming her with open arms. Be your Best!!! BSC

        Like

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