During a special meeting May 4, 2016, the Maricopa County Community College District Governing Board named Dr. Maria Harper-Marinick to the position of Chancellor. Dr. Harper-Marinick becomes the District’s fourth chancellor.
The appointment, on a 5-2 vote, came after the Board announced recently that it was advancing only Dr. Harper-Marinick to become a finalist for the position. She participated in a series of interviews and several community forums, answering questions posed by employees, faculty, students and community members. Dr. Harper-Marinick had been named Interim Chancellor during the Governing Board’s regular January meeting, replacing Dr. Rufus Glasper, who retired effective February 29.
Members Doyle Burke, Johanna Haver, Tracy Livingston and Dana Saar joined Board President Alfredo Gutierrez in voting for Dr. Harper-Marinick. Members John Heep and Jean McGrath voted against the appointment.
In brief remarks during he special governing Board meeting May 4, Dr. Harper-Marinick pledged that as Maricopa’s new leader, she will stimulate “excellence, innovation and accountability for all people, including myself.”
“I expect excellence from everyone,” she continued, adding that her goal is to ensure that Maricopa is “the best and most admired system of community colleges.”
During a reception after the meeting, Dr. Harper-Marinick recalled deciding early in her career that “my life of service would be in education,” specifically focusing on community colleges. She acknowledged that the District faces many issues, particularly in the area of finances. “I know we have challenges,” she explained, “but who doesn’t?”
“I am ready to do the work,” she said.
As they voted to appoint Dr. Harper-Marinick, Governing Board members and members of the Search Committee that chose her praised the new chancellor as the ideal person for the job. Even the two Board members who voted against her for procedural reasons praised her qualifications and accomplishments.
Dr. Harper-Marinick was, “in our view, the most qualified” of candidates for the position, said Dr. Michael Crow, President of Arizona State University and co-chair of the Search Committee. The other co-chair, Salina Bednarek, head of the Maricopa Faculty Executive Council, said there were 210 potential candidates, 29 of whom met minimum qualifications. Of those, the committee chose to interview six, and narrowed the choice to three finalists.
“There is no one that we interviewed who did not want this job,” Dr. Crow explained. “This is one of the most premier positions in the country.” An indication of the high quality of the candidate pool, he said, was the fact that all six candidates who were interviewed “were qualified to do the job.”
The co-chairs said that one of the three finalists dropped out, and when they were presented with the two finalists, members of the Governing Board decided to interview only Dr. Harper-Marinick.
About Dr. Harper-Marinick
Dr. Harper-Marinick has served as Executive Vice Chancellor and Provost since 2010. She previously served as Vice Chancellor for Academic and Student Affairs, and continued as the District’s chief academic officer when appointed Executive Vice Chancellor and Provost. She has worked with the Chancellor to develop and implement the District’s strategic plan and lead initiatives to enhance access and increase student success. Dr. Harper-Marinick also has provided oversight for all areas within academic and student affairs; institutional effectiveness and research; university relations and transfer; grants development; international education; high school to college pathways programs; workforce and small business development.
Well-known in education circles throughout Arizona, Dr. Harper-Marinick has helped shape the face of community college education through her involvement with Expect More Arizona, the Arizona Minority Education Policy Analysis Center and Arizona Business and Education Coalition. As well, she has been an active member of the Morrison Institute’s Latino Public Policy Center Advisory Board and the Morrison CTE Advsory Board, which is committed to enhancing career technical education. She also have been involved with the Phoenix Thriving Together Leadership Council and the Global Pathways Institute.
No stranger to the national education stage, Harper-Marinick has been tapped to serve on several education boards and councils, including being appointed to the Advisory Committee on Student Financial Assistance by the U.S. Secretary of Education and the national Community College Hispanic Council. She also has been a vocal participant on the National boards for the Center for Community College Student Engagement, Eduational testing Service’s National Community College Advisory Council, the Western Alliance of Community College Academic Leaders, the American Association of Community Colleges, the League for Innovation in the Community College, the American Association of Community Colleges, and the Commission on Diversity, Inclusion, and Equity of the American Association of Community Colleges.
A native of the Dominican Republic, Dr. Harper-Marinick came to Arizona State University as a Fulbright Scholar in 1982. She holds a Ph.D. in Educational Technology and a Master’s Degree in Instructional Media from Arizona State University and a Licentiate in School Administration and Pedagogy from Universidad Nacional Pedro Henriquez Urena in the Dominican Republic.