Jianping Wang selected to lead Mercer County Community College
A veteran educator with 20 years of experience in community college administration has been selected by the Mercer County Community College (MCCC) Board of Trustees as the next college president.
Dr. Jianping Wang (pronounced WONG), Vice President of Academic Affairs at Ocean County College (OCC) in Toms River, will begin her duties at MCCC July 1. She was named MCCC’s sixth president after an exhaustive five-month nationwide search and selection process that included the entire college community. Wang will succeed Dr. Patricia C. Donohue, who will retire June 30 following a 49-year career, the past eight at MCCC.
“I am honored and excited to be selected as the next president at Mercer County Community College,” Wang said. “Mercer has a nationwide reputation as one of the top community colleges, and I look forward to bringing my experiences to Mercer County, working with faculty, staff, local high schools and the community as a whole to provide a quality, affordable education that will enable students to reach their life goals.”
Dr. Jianping Wang, named as the sixth president of Mercer County Community College, begins her duties July 1.
Mercer County Executive Brian Hughes said he was pleased with the selection, and appreciated the hard work of numerous individuals from throughout the community who contributed to the process.
“The Board of Trustees ran an excellent search, with the result being an outstanding selection for the college and for Mercer County,” Hughes said. “I look forward to working with Dr. Wang to expand Mercer County Community College’s role in helping students achieve their academic and career goals.”
A 24-member committee conducted the search, which included 14 individuals representing college unions, faculty, staff, and academic deans, along with three community representatives, two students, four members of the Board of Trustees, and a representative of the MCCC Foundation.
Board of Trustees member Dr. Gwendolyn Harris, chair of the MCCC Presidential Search Committee, said the transparent and inclusive process presented additional challenges in the final selection, but she said it was well worth the effort to get the right candidate.
“This thorough process involved many hours of planning, meeting with college faculty and staff, and lengthy discussions to select the best individual to lead MCCC for years to come,” Harris said, noting that 60 applications were reviewed, eight candidates were interviewed by the committee, and three were chosen as finalists. Each of the finalists participated in two-day interviews on the West Windsor and Trenton campuses, which included open forums with students, faculty, staff, and community members.
“In the end, we agreed on the one candidate who consistently offered student-centered responses to questions, with a focus on student success,” Harris said.
Wang received her master’s degree from the Harvard Graduate School of Education in 1993, and her Ed.D. from Fielding Graduate University in Santa Barbara in 2007. She served as Director of Institutional Research and Effectiveness at Roxbury Community College in Boston from 1995-1998; Dean of the Division of Arts and Humanities at SUNY Westchester Community College in Valhalla, N.Y. from 1998-2012; and at OCC since 2012.
Congresswoman Bonnie Watson Coleman said: “Mercer County Community College is a gem of an institution for not only Mercer County but all of New Jersey. Dr. Wang has demonstrated possessing the necessary qualities to lead Mercer to new heights in academic excellence and to grow the campus in a way that benefits the students and area communities. I look forward to working with her to achieve MCCC’s goals.”
MCCC Board of Trustees Chair Mark Matzen commended the college community and the search committee for their eager participation in the search and selection process, and is confident that the college is in good hands for the foreseeable future.
“Members of the college-wide search committee were charged with the difficult task of narrowing down the list to three highly-qualified candidates, and taking on a responsibility that is so critical to the future of Mercer County Community College,” Matzen said. “Dr. Wang brings a wealth of experience to Mercer, and I fully anticipate that the best is yet to come for the students, faculty, and staff of Mercer County’s best choice for a college education.”