President Mary B. Marcy's Biography

Throughout her 23-year career in higher education leadership positions, Mary B. Marcy has led major education reform and diversification initiatives, supported the advancement of faculty and students, and enhanced the reputation and reach of the institutions she has served.

Guided by President Marcy’s leadership, Dominican University of California pursues academic excellence aligned with the Dominican values, an educational model that is enduring and relevant, personal in its experience and global in its engagement. Her strategic vision emphasizes Engaged Learning, a distinctive model of higher education focused on the integration of the best of the liberal arts with rigorous professional training. Under her direction, Dominican aims to prepare students to become moral and ethical leaders, and thoughtfully-engaged scholars in the world.

In spring of 2014, President Marcy announced the largest gift in Dominican's 125 year history. When fully realized the gift will mean $25 million in new revenue to the university, and will enable Dominican to launch a renewed vision of liberal arts education that will benefit all students. 

President Marcy currently serves on the editorial board of the Journal of Liberal Education, the Academic Advisory Council of the Panetta Institute, and the Council of Independent Colleges Steering Committee on the Future of Higher Education and New Presidents Advisory Board. She is a member of the Board of Governors of the Commonwealth Club of California and sits on the Board of Directors of the North Bay Leadership Council. In 2012, 2013, and 2014, she was named one of the Bay Area’s “Most Influential Women in Business” by the San Francisco Business Times in recognition of her exemplary leadership in higher education.

Prior to joining Dominican, she served as Provost of Bard College at Simon’s Rock and Vice President at Bard College from 2004 until 2011. Previous to her leadership at Bard, President Marcy worked in both public and private institutions of higher education. Her experience includes leading of a national grant-funded Project on the Future of Higher Education through Antioch University, working as the first Dean of University Relations and Planning at Antioch University Seattle, and serving as the lead researcher and policy advisor to the President of Western Washington University. She was appointed by Massachusetts Governor Deval Patrick to serve as a commissioner on the Commonwealth’s Public Education Nominating Council.

President Marcy earned her doctorate and master's degrees in political science from the University of Oxford in the United Kingdom. Her research focuses on women in American politics, and she has published extensively on issues of diversity, leadership, and strategy in higher education. Born and raised in western Nebraska, President Marcy received her Bachelor of Arts with honors from the University of Nebraska. View selected speeches and writings.