Murphy new CSM president
Will officially take office July 1
The College of Southern Maryland’s future president said she’s looking forward to assuming her new duties July 1.
“I’m really very excited about it,” said Maureen Murphy, president of Brookdale Community College in Monmouth County, N.J., during a phone interview. “I think it’s really amazing there
is a college this vibrant and strong and the whole world isn’t singing about it; we should be, we really should be.”
Last week, CSM announced that Murphy had been selected as the college’s fifth president, replacing Bradley Gottfried, who announced in September that he would retire at the end of the school year after 10 years at CSM’s helm.
Murphy is no stranger to community colleges, having begun her career as an English professor at St. Louis Community College-Meramec in Missouri. Prior to taking the helm at Brookdale in 2012, Murphy served as president of San Jacinto College South in Houston and vice president at Rappahannock Community College and Wytheville Community College, both in Virginia.
“I believe that community colleges are social justice through education; it’s very, very powerful,” Murphy said. “These are colleges that are designed to be nimble in meeting community needs.”
Brookdale is a 13,000-student community college that primarily serves Monmouth County residents at its 220-acre main campus in Middletown, in addition to five regional campuses scattered throughout the county, according to its website.
As Brookdale’s first female president, Murphy founded the Poseidon Early College High School, which gives first-generation college students the opportunity to work towards an associate’s degree while continuing their high school education. She also launched a program to provide free college tuition to all qualified applicants and directed recovery efforts after the college was hit by Hurricane Sandy in 2012 to have the campus operational after two and a half weeks, according to a CSM news release.
CSM, founded in 1958, has a student population of more than 24,000 credit and continuing education students spread out between three campuses in Charles, Calvert and St. Mary’s counties. A fourth campus, the Regional Hughesville Campus, opens this year with the new Center for Trades and Energy Training.
“This is an opportunity for me to make a difference in a very diverse community,” Murphy said. “One of the things that was particularly appealing to me is the college’s connection to the community; it’s a very palpable connection.”
Following Gottfried’s announcement of his retirement, the CSM Board of Trustees appointed a search committee in September, 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.
The committee reviewed more than 40 applications and selected three finalists. Two of those finalists participated in site visits at the college last month and toured all four campuses, meeting with college leadership, faculty, students and staff and participating in forums at each of the campuses, according to the news release.
Dorothea Smith, chairwoman of the board of trustees, said it was important to have a new president who would honor the unique culture of the three Southern Maryland counties and the traditions of the college as well as having an eye towards the future.
“Her goals align with our goals, mission, vision and values,” Smith said of Murphy. “She’s very visionary and very innovative. She has experience in the administration of a multi-campus college … She believes in diversity, inclusion — all the qualities that we want to build on are there.”
Murphy officially becomes CSM president July 1.
“My first role, and most important role, is to learn about the college and its community, and see how the college functions,” Murphy said. “I’m going to have a learning curve in the beginning, and I’m looking for ward to that, I really am.”
Maureen Murphy was selected to lead the College of Southern Maryland as its fifth president beginning July 1.