LINCROFT – The Board of Trustees of Brookdale Community College announced this week that Dr. Maureen Murphy, President at San Jacinto College South in Houston, Texas, has been named President of Brookdale
, effective July 1. She will succeed interim President William Toms, who is returning to continue his consulting practice.
The new President is no stranger to the area: her parents grew up in Monmouth County, she has relatives in Red Bank and Atlantic Highlands.
In announcing the appointment of Dr. Murphy, Josh Elkes, chair of Brookdale’s Board of Trustees, stated, “We are extremely pleased to bring a top caliber teacher, administrator, and institutional leader to Brookdale Community College. Maureen Murphy has an outstanding record of achievement in development, grant writing, academics, and college operations. She is committed to building on Brookdale’s reputation as the No. 1 degree-awarding community college in New Jersey.” Dr. Murphy will be the first woman president in the college’s history.
The appointment concludes a search launched in the fall of 2011, led by an eleven member committee including three trustees, three faculty members, three administrators, one current student and one community member. The committee, chaired by Trustee Chair Elkes, chose Dr. Murphy and two others as finalists among 93 initial candidates. The full Board of Trustees accumulated feedback from faculty, students, and staff. A careful analysis of the feedback and a final interview process by the Trustees resulted in Murphy’s selection.
“The college community can be proud that this search attracted so many highly qualified candidates,” said Elkes. “From this competitive field, the Trustees unanimously determined that Dr. Murphy’s experience and qualifications are suited to the administrative, academic and funding challenges that Brookdale will face as we write the next chapter of our history. I’m confident she will build on our successes here at Brookdale and lead us to successfully implement our vision for the future.”
During her five years as president of San Jacinto College South, Murphy led an academic institution with significant similarities to Brookdale, college officials said.
Established in 1979, San Jacinto College South has 11,150 students and 145 full-time faculty on a 150-acre campus; Brookdale has 14,950 students and 250 full-time faculty on its 220-acre Lincroft campus. San Jacinto has also experienced familiar funding challenges, with state appropriations for community colleges falling nearly 30% while Brookdale’s has declined 60%.
To keep enrollment strong, Dr. Murphy expanded recruitment efforts into the community, including churches and community centers, and aggressively pursued and procured grants to help replace lost state revenue. As a result, San Jacinto College South today acquires more of its enrollment in competition with other colleges, with 52% of students residing out-of-district. San Jacinto also participates in the competitive Division 1 athletics of the NJCAA while Brookdale is in Division 3. Some notable San Jacinto athletes include former NBA all-stars Sam Cassel and Steve Francis, as well as MLB’s Andy Pettitte.
As President, Dr. Murphy secured state and federal grants to build both the community and the workforce, including funding for nursing, health care training and the humanities. She forged cultural, academic and workforce development partnerships with institutions including the General Consul of Spain and a consortium of eight surrounding hospitals. The campus hosts the Aerospace & Biotechnology Academy, a college-wide initiative undertaken in cooperation with the NASA-Johnson Space Center.
Dr. Murphy also looks forward to continuing her focus on returning veterans, having actively worked to establish a Veteran’s Center at San Jacinto. She aspires to place that same emphasis on welcoming returning veterans into the Brookdale community.
Earlier in her career, Dr. Murphy was chief academic and student services officer of Rappahannock Community College and Wytheville Community College, both in Virginia. Prior to these administrative positions, she rose through the academic ranks as an instructor, assistant professor, associate professor, and later Dean of Mathematics and Communications at St. Louis Community College – Meramec. Dr. Murphy earned a Ph.D. in American Studies from Saint Louis University, an M.A. in English from the University of Missouri – Columbia, and a B.A. in English from the University of Louisville.