Texas College Head is Named New President of Brookdale CC

Dr. Maureen Murphy will be the college's first female president.

Brookdale Community College has announced the selection of a new president, Dr. Maureen Murphy, who is currently president at San Jacinto College South in Houston. She will become the first woman to head the Monmouth County college.

The announcement notes that Murphy has ties to Monmouth County, where her parents grew up, including family in Red Bank and Atlantic Highlands.

Here is the full text of the Brookdale announcement:

Lincroft, NJ, February 21, 2012 – The Board of Trustees of Brookdale Community College announced today that Dr. Maureen Murphy, President at San Jacinto College South in Houston, Texas, has been named President of the College, effective July 1. She will succeed interim President William Toms, who is returning to continue his consulting practice.

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 number one 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."

About San Jacinto College South

For five years at San Jacinto College South, Murphy led an academic institution with significant similarities to Brookdale. 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.

Community and Workforce Focus

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.

About Dr. Maureen Murphy

Dr. Murphy's experience includes leadership positions within community college systems in three states. In her five years at San Jacinto South, she has been instrumental in the college's re- accreditation process and the reorganization of several academic programs, including Allied Health and Sciences, and the College Preparatory Studies.

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.

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, and she looks forward to being engaged in local community events. “One of the major responsibilities of a college president is fostering strong local relationships," said Dr. Murphy. "I am very pleased that I have been chosen as the next President of Brookdale Community College and am looking forward to beginning this new chapter, building on the strong foundation already established by the extraordinary efforts of faculty, students, staff, and the Board of Trustees."


Marc LeVine February 22, 2012 at 03:40 PM
I hope that during Dr. Murphy's tenure at Brookdale, the state, county and the college trustees make the long overdo determination to offer Bachelor or Arts degrees at Brookdale Community College. A few years back, an education survey for the state showed that Western Monmouth County is underserved when it comes to easy access to affordable, local four year college degree opportunities. With gas prices rising as quickly as tuition at most New Jersey 4-year colleges and universities, it is time for community colleges in our area to take interested students - the whole way - to gaining a Bachelors degree, at very least.
maria February 22, 2012 at 05:50 PM
There are numerous bachelor's degrees that students can pursue in Freehold at Brookdale's Western Monmouth Branch Campus. Brookdale has a partnership with Rutgers and offers a handful of their degrees right on that Freehold campus. There are also many other bachelors degrees that students can pursue at Brookdale's Wall campus.
cynicinmarlboro February 22, 2012 at 07:14 PM
After their previous debacle, the board of trustees should release all the details of the contract so we know what she is getting. I just hope this one looks out for the students and the school rather than her own pocketbook.
Shannon K. Winning February 23, 2012 at 12:41 AM
Marc - You can check out the four year degrees offered at Brookdale through the Communiversity in our recent story - http://patch.com/A-q87L
Billard02cue February 23, 2012 at 09:46 PM
San Jacinto College is a great public college. My sister attended, transfered to U of Houston earning a Bs in Finance. The Southwest's loss is Nj gain. Good luck Dr. Murphy..


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