“Edward brings a wealth of student affairs experience to Florida A&M University and I consider him to be a great addition to my leadership team,” said Roland H. Gaines, vice president for Student Affairs. “We are looking forward to his work in student development assisting our students and the directors who report to him. He will support and enhance programmatic directions, student retention, institutional accountability, strategic planning, and accreditation reaffirmation.”
Prior to FAMU, Willis was the special assistant to the president for Community Outreach and Engagement at Owens Community College in Toledo, Ohio. He has also worked at other universities including the University of Michigan; the University of Missouri – Columbia; Rutgers University; St. John’s University; North Carolina A&T State University; and the University of Toledo. He has taught “Orientation to College Life” at Coppin State College and was a freshman year instructor for the College of Business at the University of Toledo.
Part of Willis’ role and responsibility includes working collaboratively with students, faculty and staff across the university to support and promote strategic initiatives for the Division of Student Affairs. In addition, he will oversee the following student affairs departments: counseling services, student health services, career center and the Learning Development and Evaluation Center (LDEC).
“I am pleased to have been selected for this important role in student affairs at Florida A&M University,” said Willis. “FAMU has a long history and rich tradition, and is one of the premiere institutions of higher education in America. I look forward to contributing to the learning environment for students, and supporting programs and activities that reinforce classroom learning and that foster holistic educational development.”
Willis further explained his goals as the associate vice president of student affairs.
“The student affairs program provides opportunities for students to learn and develop, through programs that are based on an assessment of students’ needs and interest,” said Willis. “Student affairs programs are considered laboratories for students to experiment with skills that will help them to develop academically, culturally, socially and recreationally.”
Willis received his bachelor’s degree in American history from Montclair State University, the masters of education from Rutgers University, and has completed work toward a Ph.D. at the University of Toledo.
A native of New Jersey, Willis’ professional and honorary memberships include the Association of College Unions – International (ACU-I); Blue Key National Honorary Fraternity; Golden Key National Honor Society; Midwest Deans’ Conference; National Association of Student Personnel Administrators (NASPA); Ohio Association of Student Personnel Administrators (OASPA); and Omicron Delta Kappa Honorary Society.