CSM new pres­i­dent fin­ishes first week on cam­pus

Meet­ings with cam­pus lead­ers, strate­gic partners

Maryland Independent - - Front Page - By JAMIE ANFENSON-COMEAU jan­fen­son-comeau@somd­news.com

Fol­low­ing a whirl­wind first week, Mau­reen Mur­phy is set­tling into her new role as pres­i­dent of the Col­lege of South­ern Mary­land.

“It’s been just a lot of fun get­ting to spend some time with peo­ple,” Mur­phy said. “I’ve been try­ing to meet with all the peo­ple who re­port to me and un­der­stand what they do, and hear about their view of the col­lege, and it’s heart­en­ing.”

Mur­phy took up her new du­ties as pres­i­dent of CSM July 3, vis­it­ing with de­part­ments and get­ting a feel for the La Plata cam­pus.

“It’s in­ter­est­ing to get a sense of what’s go­ing on in aca­demic af­fairs, what’s go­ing on in stu­dent ser­vices, in­struc­tional sup­port, con­tin­u­ing ed­u­ca­tion which is a real vi­brant part of this col­lege,” Mur­phy said. “All of those kind of nuts-and-bolts things.”

Mur­phy also met with U.S. Con­gress­man and House Demo­cratic Whip Steny Hoyer (D-MD., 5th).

“I am con­fi­dent her years of ex­pe­ri­ence in

the com­mu­nity col­lege sys­tem will be ex­cep­tion­ally ben­e­fi­cial to CSM,” Hoyer said af­ter­ward in a news re­lease. “I look for­ward to work­ing with Dr. Mur­phy, as well as Ted Har­wood, Brad Bates, and oth­ers, to build upon the suc­cess of for­mer Pres­i­dent Dr. Bradley Got­tfried and en­sure more stu­dents have ac­cess to qual­ity, af­ford­able higher ed­u­ca­tion in South­ern Mary­land.”

Dur­ing her first week, Mur­phy also had an op­por­tu­nity to visit some of the Teens and Kids Col­lege pro­grams.

“It’s a great pro­gram. It gets kids on a col­lege cam­pus so it’s not for­eign to them, and they know to come here,” Mur­phy said of the pro­gram, which runs on cam­pus through­out the sum­mer.

Mur­phy said that in the com­ing weeks, she will meet with the lead­ers of the Calvert and St. Mary’s cam­puses.

“I’ll be spend­ing a lot of time in­ter­nally get­ting to know peo­ple, lis­ten­ing to them, just get­ting a sense of how every­thing here func­tions.

Mur­phy re­lo­cated to South­ern Mary­land from New Jer­sey on June 20, af­ter leav­ing her for­mer post as pres­i­dent of Brook­dale Com­mu­nity Col­lege in Mid­dle­town.

Mur­phy said she has been in love with the con­cept of com­mu­nity col­leges since she be­gan teach­ing at St. Charles Com­mu­nity Col­lege.

“I thought that I had just died and gone to heaven. I could not be­lieve what an in­cred­i­ble op­por­tu­nity I had,” Mur­phy said. “I loved the op­por­tu­nity to pro­vide op­por­tu­ni­ties for stu­dents who might not have one other wise.”

Mur­phy had been teach­ing for English for 10 years be­fore be­ing of­fered an act­ing dean po­si­tion at St. Louis Com­mu­nity Col­lege-Mer­ri­mac.

“In that time I was as­ton­ished by what I learned,” Mur­phy said. “I got a view of the col­lege I had never had be­fore; it pro­vided con­text for me, and I re­al­ized that the job of an ad­min­is­tra­tor was to clear the ob­sta­cles out of the way so teach­ing and learn­ing can hap­pen, and I liked that.”

Mur­phy was ap­pointed pres­i­dent of Brook­dale in 2012, where she ini­ti­ated dual en­roll­ment, free tu­ition and work­force devel­op­ment pro­grams at the col­lege.

Mur­phy said she first learned about CSM while driv­ing through the area to visit fam­ily.

“Over the years — it’s a very small world in com­mu­nity col­leges — I be­came fa­mil­iar with some of the ini­tia­tives here, I saw pre­sen­ta­tions by folks from CSM, in­clud­ing Brad [Got­tfried], the for­mer pres­i­dent, and so I de­vel­oped a fa­mil­iar­ity with CSM,” Mur­phy said.

Mur­phy said she wasn’t look­ing to leave Brook­dale, but the po­si­tion at CSM found her, through a col­league who was also friends with Got­tfried, and who sug­gested she would be per­fect for the role.

Af­ter do­ing some re­search, she and her hus­band drove through South­ern Mary­land.

“I went home, thought about it some, and said, ‘Let’s try it and see what hap­pens?’ And look what hap­pened? Here I am,” Mur­phy said.

Mur­phy said she still has a lot of work to do to be pre­pared for the of­fi­cial start of the fall se­mes­ter Sept. 5, in­clud­ing re­view­ing new ini­tia­tives and meet­ing with strate­gic partners.

“I have a lot of read­ing to do and a lot of things to get up to speed on, so I can be pre­pared for it,” Mur­phy said. “Once that se­mes­ter starts, then things are go­ing to roll.”

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