Dr. Maureen Murphy.
LA PLATA, Md. (March 18, 2017)—After an extensive nationwide search, the College of Southern Maryland Board of Trustees announced the selection of Dr. Maureen Murphy as the fifth president of the college. Murphy, who has been connected with community colleges for 27 years including a decade as a community college president, will begin her duties on July 1.
Murphy is president of Brookdale Community College, a multi-campus community college in New Jersey. While there she has forged partnerships with community organizations, school districts, business and industry, donors and other higher education institutions. Before her appointment at Brookdale in 2012, she served as president of San Jacinto College South in Houston, Texas and as vice president at both Rappahannock Community College and Wytheville Community College in Virginia.
"The Board of Trustees is extremely pleased to announce the appointment of Dr. Maureen Murphy to lead the College of Southern Maryland as its fifth president, effective July 1. We are impressed by the vast knowledge and experience in the community college system acquired by Dr. Murphy during her career in education. Her academic qualifications, significant leadership skills, and the ability to operate a multi-campus college make her an excellent fit for CSM. This expertise will enable her to build upon CSM's strong reputation in academia and workforce training while fostering positive relationships with the students, faculty, staff and the local community," said CSM Board Chair Dorothea Smith.
"I am honored to be invited to serve the College of Southern Maryland, and I look forward to working alongside the CSM family as we continue to support the needs of the tri-county region," said Murphy.
While at Brookdale, Murphy developed four early college high school programs, launched the Asbury Park College Promise program for free tuition for all qualified graduates and directed recovery efforts after Hurricane Sandy to have the college operational within two and a half weeks. Additionally, after significant funding declines, she realigned the college to focus more sharply on local workforce needs and economic development. She founded the Poseidon Early College High School, a first in New Jersey, which allows first-generation students the opportunity to earn an associate degree concurrent with their high school studies. Further, this initiative was funded with a $1 million gift, the largest single gift in the college's history. Murphy also spearheaded the first Minority Male Conference, a collaboration with the Panhellenic Council, to support the academic achievement of minority male students, which received national recognition from the Association of Community College Trustees.
Murphy began her career teaching English at St. Louis Community College-Meramec, where she later served as a dean. Murphy is committed to social justice and equity. She has been an active member of the American Association for Women in Community Colleges (AAWCC) since 1995, and has served on the national board (two years as president) since 2007.
She has received numerous awards including the Shirley B. Gordon Award of Distinction by Phi Theta Kappa, the Distinguished Corporate Leadership Award by the Greater Red Bank NAACP and the Carolyn DesJardins CEO of the Year Award by AAWCC. Currently, Murphy is on the board of directors for the American Association of Community Colleges, the national organization representing more than 1,100 colleges.
Murphy earned her bachelor's degree in English from the University of Louisville, her master's degree in English from the University of Missouri—Columbia and her doctorate in American Studies from Saint Louis University.
Murphy succeeds Dr. Brad Gottfried, who will retire from CSM June 30. Appointed CSM's fourth president in 2006, Gottfried has been associated with community colleges for more than 40 years. While at CSM, he has had a significant impact, including expanding the college with a Regional Hughesville Campus, increasing CSM's partnerships and articulations, and keeping higher education affordable and accessible.
"Dr. Murphy has an outstanding reputation among community college presidents," said Gottfried. "I look forward to CSM's continued growth under her leadership."
"As incoming chair of the board I am looking forward to working with Dr. Murphy in her capacity of president of CSM. Her years of experience in community colleges that support rural and urban areas will serve her well here at CSM. She has had significant impacts at each of the institutions she has directed and has excellent experience in operations of multi-campus facilities similar to what we have here at CSM," said Trustee Vice Chair Ted Harwood. "While I am saddened by the retirement of Brad Gottfried, I am enthusiastic about Dr. Murphy's capability to take the strategic guidance that the board and Brad have created for the college and to seamlessly implement that vision in the coming years."
The presidential search process began in September 2016 by CSM's trustees who appointed a search committee, chaired by trustee Michael L. Middleton and comprised of representatives from the board, the CSM Foundation, faculty, alumni and the La Plata, Leonardtown and Prince Frederick campuses. Additionally, focus groups with each of the college's County Advisory Councils in Calvert, Charles and St. Mary's counties and information sessions with college employees were held to prepare the presidential profile and preferred qualifications.
Approximately 40 applications were reviewed and the search committee finalized consideration to three individuals. Of those, one declined further consideration and the two remaining candidates participated in site visits of the college during February and toured the college's four campuses. They interacted with the college leadership, faculty, students and staff, as well as had the opportunity to meet with each county's advisory council, business leaders and community members during forums at each campus. Forums attendance averaged over 175 people per candidate.
Middleton praised the Presidential Search Committee for its thorough review of the candidates and the evaluations provided by those who met with the candidates during their campus visits. "Our search committee was composed of a talented group of individuals who were representative of CSM's many stakeholders," Middleton said. "They worked continually for six months, carefully reviewing the many applications received from across the country. Personal interviews were held with the selected individuals to narrow the field to the finalists. Those finalists then met with the college and local community prior to the trustees' selection. I am very proud of the sincere effort contributed by each committee member. CSM was well-served by their deliberations."
CSM is a comprehensive regional community college in Southern Maryland and serving more than 25,000 credit and continuing education students at its campuses in Leonardtown, La Plata and Prince Frederick and its other facilities including a shared facility with University of Maryland University College (the Waldorf Center for Higher Education) and the Center for Transportation Training in La Plata. A new regional campus is located on 74 acres in Hughesville with the college's new Center for Trades and Energy Training (CTET) as the initial facility. The second phase for the Regional Campus will be the construction of a state-of-the-art health sciences building and other proposed phases include a fine arts building, a field house and relocation of the college's athletic fields.
With more than 50 guaranteed articulation agreements, CSM's students can start locally and transfer seamlessly to the college of their choice. Last year 1,762 CSM students transferred to 226 different colleges and universities in 45 states and the District of Columbia. Destinations include Maryland universities and other highly regarded schools across the nation.
Since established in 1958, CSM has experienced incredible growth in enrollment, physical facilities, program offerings and impact, with the college serving as an economic engine for the 350,000 residents of Southern Maryland through a variety of affordable academic, technical and vocational programs. Services to the business community include the Corporate Center's customized training, the region's Small Business Development Center and a new Entrepreneur and Innovation Institute. The college is also a hub for much of the area's social, cultural and wellness activities. For information visit www.csmd.edu.