BOULDER, Colo. – Dr. John Carmichael, president of Evergreen State College, has been appointed to represent the state of Washington on the Western Interstate Commission for Higher Education (WICHE) by Gov. Jay Inslee.
Carmichael steps into the vacancy left by Dr. Thomas L. “Les” Purce, president emeritus of Evergreen State College, who was appointed to the Northwest Power and Conservation Council earlier this year. Carmichael joins Washington Commissioners Michael Meotti, executive director, Washington Student Achievement Council, and Gerry Pollet, representative, Washington State Legislature. Carmichael, Meotti, and Pollet are three of the WICHE Commission’s 48 total commissioners from the 15 Western states and the U.S. Pacific Territories and Freely Associated States. Together, the Commission guides WICHE’s direction and assures the Western Regional Education Compact is carried out for the benefit of the West, as it has done since 1953.
Carmichael stepped into his role as Evergreen State College’s seventh president in 2021. He has deep ties to the college, earning a bachelor of arts and a master of public administration degrees from Evergreen. He joined the college’s staff in 1998 as a secretary and served in a variety of roles for more than 25 years, including chief of staff and secretary to the board of trustees, as well as vice president for finance and operations.
“The successes and challenges of a small public college like Evergreen are best understood in the context of large-scale regional trends,” Carmichael said. “I’m honored to join the Commission, share lessons we’ve learned in Washington state, and learn how we can best serve students and families across the region.”
As Evergreen’s president, Carmichael is responsible for engaging the campus, community, and external groups in promoting a liberal arts education and learning community models. He represents the college and helps develop and maintain a comprehensive vision for Evergreen’s students, works to build relationships, strengthen partnerships, and collaborates with other colleges leaders to develop creative solutions.
“Dr. Carmichael brings an important institutional perspective developed through his wide range of experiences at Evergreen,” WICHE President Demarée Michelau said. “I am eager to see his contributions to the Commission and to WICHE’s efforts to increase student access and success.”
Carmichael is a lifelong Washington state resident and lives in Olympia with his husband, Michael Partlow.
He holds a doctorate degree in education and human resource studies from Colorado State University.