Brookdale President Dr. Maureen Murphy has been selected to serve on the board of directors of the American Association of Community Colleges (AACC), the primary advocacy group for the nation’s nearly 1,200 two-year institutions.
Beginning on July 1, Murphy will join 31 community college presidents and chief executives from across the country for a three-year term on the AACC board.
At a time when two-year colleges are implementing new career training services, business partnerships, four-year degree programs and even “tuition-free” models to strengthen their local workforce, Murphy said the appointment is a unique opportunity to share ideas and represent the needs of local residents.
“Many community colleges, including Brookdale, are currently at work on a variety of new strategies to help their students and community members reclaim the American dream,” said Murphy. “These are important conversations to be involved in, and I am extremely grateful for the opportunity to represent Monmouth County and Brookdale on the AACC board.”
The appointment comes at a critical time for community colleges in the U.S., which are attempting to adapt to rapidly changing workforce demands and provide new tools, training and resources for area workers. Facing a shrinking middle class, widening income gaps and an ever-increasing demand for post-secondary education, American community colleges will play a vital role in meeting President Barack Obama’s “2020 College Completion Challenge,” Murphy said.
“That initiative, along with our ongoing reaccreditation process through the Middle States Commission on Higher Education, is heavily focused on one simple goal: rebuilding the middle class,” she said. “That is not going to happen without community colleges. And I firmly believe Brookdale can be a key player in that effort here in Monmouth County.”
As a member of the AACC board, Murphy said she will be able to collaborate with community college leaders who have experienced similar challenges and instituted novel programs and partnerships to help address them. She will also be able to offer guidance on Brookdale’s own initiatives, including a recent college-wide redesign focused on college completion and student success.
“This is an opportunity to learn, share ideas and help shape the direction of community college education,” Murphy said. “In years past Brookdale was understood as a national leader. With everything that is going on, and all that we have accomplished, I believe we have the opportunity to assume that role once again.”
Murphy, of Freehold, has served as Brookdale president since 2012. She is a current member and past president of the American Association for Women in Community Colleges.