Maricopa Community Colleges’ Governing Board Names Dr. Maria Harper-Marinick as Chancellor of One of the Largest Community College Systems in the Nation

Harper-Marinick Becomes First Female, First Latina Chancellor in

PHOENIX–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Maricopa Community Colleges’ Governing Board yesterday voted to appoint
Dr. Maria Harper-Marinick as Chancellor of one of the largest community
college systems in the nation. Harper-Marinick becomes the first female
and first Latina ever appointed Chancellor to a higher education
institution in Arizona.

“A new era has come to Maricopa Community Colleges as we congratulate
Dr. Maria Harper-Marinick on her new role as Chancellor,” said Alfredo
Gutierrez, President of the Governing Board. “As the education landscape
continues to evolve, Maria’s steady leadership, commitment to lifelong
education and stellar reputation at both a local and national level will
elevate Maricopa Community College’s standing as an institution
dedicated to high achievement and successful student outcomes.”

With a career spanning nearly 25 years at Maricopa Community Colleges,
Harper-Marinick has served in several top-level posts, including
Executive Vice Chancellor and Provost, and Interim Chancellor. Taking
the reins from the now retired Chancellor Rufus Glasper, she will
oversee system-wide operations, which serve 200,000 students and nearly
10,000 faculty and staff members across 10 colleges (Chandler-Gilbert,
Estrella Mountain, GateWay, Glendale, Mesa, Paradise Valley, Phoenix,
Rio Salado, Scottsdale, and South Mountain), a Corporate College, two
skills centers (Maricopa Skill Center, Southwest Skill Center) and
several satellite campuses and business/industry, technical and
customized training institutes.

In addition, as Chancellor, Harper-Marinick sets the vision for the
higher educational institution’s strategic plan, guides policy
development, and oversees initiatives and outcomes related to workforce,
economic and community development; civic and global engagement; and
increasing student success.

“There is an unprecedented demand for skilled workers among employers
not only here in Arizona, but across the nation, making it vital for
higher education institutions to educate, train and prepare the next
generation of employees to be workplace-ready,” said Harper-Marinick.
“Maricopa Community Colleges continue to deliver an exemplary education
that equips students with the foundational skills they need to excel in
their careers and in life.”

The appointment of Harper-Marinick, a native of the Dominican Republic,
caps off an extensive search conducted by a specially-appointed
committee. The Search Committee, co-chaired by Arizona State University
President Michael Crow and Maricopa Community Colleges Faculty
Association President Salina Bednarek, considered a broad pool of
candidates for the Chancellor position.

“The Search Committee took a holistic approach in selecting the next
Chancellor,” said Crow. “Dr. Harper-Marinick excelled among the
candidates we interviewed and identified as national leaders in terms of
understanding the unique and complex education landscape in Arizona, and
the need for innovation and collaboration. Her commitment to
strengthening the quality of education in Arizona and keen insights on
major issues make her perfectly poised to propel Maricopa Community
Colleges to the next level.”

Widely known in education circles throughout Arizona, 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 Advisory Board,
which is committed to enhancing career technical education. She has also
been involved with the Phoenix Thriving Together Leadership Council, and
The Global Pathways Institute.

No stranger on 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 has also been a vocal
participant on the National Advisory Board for the Center for Community
College Student Engagement, Educational 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, and the
Commission on Diversity, Inclusion, and Equity of the American
Association of Community Colleges.

Harper-Marinick came to Arizona State University as a Fulbright Scholar
in 1982 from the Dominican Republic, earning a Master of Education in
Instructional Media, as well as a Ph.D. in Educational Technology. She
also earned a Licentiate in School Administration and Pedagogy from
Universidad Nacional Pedro Henriquez Urena in the Dominican Republic.

About Maricopa Community Colleges

Among the largest community college systems in the nation, Maricopa
Community Colleges serve 200,000 students enrolled in credit and
non-credit courses annually. The community college system is also the
largest provider of transfer students to Arizona’s public universities,
comprising approximately 30 percent of all bachelor’s degree completers.
The college system added $7.3 billion in direct economic impact to
Arizona’s economy in 2013-14, according to a research report released in
2015 from Economic Modeling Specialists International (EMSI). The report
also revealed that for every dollar contributed by taxpayers to the
Maricopa Community Colleges, $4 in benefits is returned to taxpayers.
Additionally, the report uncovered that for every dollar that a student
spends on a Maricopa Community College education, that student gets back
$4.20 in higher future income. The system includes 10 community colleges
(Chandler-Gilbert, Estrella Mountain, GateWay, Glendale, Mesa, Paradise
Valley, Phoenix, Rio Salado, Scottsdale, and South Mountain), a
Corporate College, two skills centers (Maricopa Skill Center, Southwest
Skill Center), Maricopa Corporate College, and several satellite
campuses and business/industry, technical and customized training
institutes. Eight Maricopa Community Colleges were named among the Aspen
Institute’s top 150 community colleges in the United States. For more
information, visit


Maricopa Community Colleges
Angela Menninger, 602-373-8212 (mobile)