Maricopa Community Colleges chancellor Rufus Glasper retires, will become president and CEO of the League for Innovation

Maricopa Community Colleges

Chancellor Rufus Glasper retires from Maricopa Community Colleges

After nearly 13 years as Chancellor of the Maricopa Community Colleges, Rufus Glasper, Ph.D. will retire to accept a position as President and CEO of the League for Innovation in the Community College (League).

Dr. Glasper made the formal announcement to the Governing Board of the Maricopa County Community College District yesterday. Plans to search for Dr. Glasper’s successor and a date for transitioning to his new role have not yet been determined by the Governing Board.

The opportunity with the League occurred when its current president and CEO, Gerado de los Santos, its president and CEO for the last 17 years, announced he would be leaving his post effective February 1, 2016 because of family health issues.

Dr. Glasper has served The Maricopa Community Colleges, one of the nation’s largest community college systems, for more than 29 years in a variety of roles from director of finance, CFO and Vice Chancellor. He was named Chancellor in 2003.

The League, based in Chandler, Ariz., is an international nonprofit organization that provides strategic insights and undertakes policy work for the more than 800 institutions holding memberships in its League Alliance. The Maricopa Community Colleges is a member of the League.

“This decision was not an easy one,” Dr. Glasper wrote in a memo to Maricopa employees today. “I believe that the many organizational and academic initiatives that are now in motion throughout the Maricopa Community Colleges are well on their way to enhancing the District’s position as a leader among community colleges nationally.”

“As I have had the privilege to provide vision for initiatives impacting student success and innovation for our colleges, I am humbled and grateful for the opportunity to now provide leadership in the community college arena on a national scale,” Dr. Glasper added.

“We appreciate the exemplary leadership that Gerardo has provided the League for Innovation in the Community College for the past 17 years,” said Jill Wakefield, Ph.D., Chancellor of Seattle Colleges and chair of the board of directors of the League, which has 800 member colleges worldwide. “Dr. Glasper is a long-standing member of the League board and we are grateful that he will be able to step in and provide experience with the organization and veteran leadership immediately upon his assuming the role as CEO.”

Dr. Glasper is active in the community as a member of Greater Phoenix Leadership and as a board member of the Arizona Community Foundation, Greater Phoenix Economic Council, The Valley of the Sun United Way, Southwest College of Naturopathic Medicine and Health Sciences, and The O’Connor Institute.

Dr. Glasper earned his Doctorate of Philosophy degree in higher education finance from the University of Arizona, a Master’s and advanced degrees in school business administration from Northern Illinois University, and a Bachelor’s degree in business administration from Luther College (Decorah, Iowa).

In May 2005, he was the recipient of an Honorary Doctorate in Political Science from Grand Canyon University in Phoenix and in May 2013, he was the recipient of an Honorary Doctorate in Naturopathic Medicine from the Southwest College of Naturopathic Medicine.

In May 2014, Dr. Glasper was the recipient of an honorary degree of Doctor of Humane Letters from Northern Arizona University
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