President Marcy named Visiting Scholar at Harvard Graduate School of Education

Dominican University of California President Mary B. Marcy has been named a Visiting Scholar at the Harvard Graduate School of Education (HGSE) for the fall 2018 semester. The appointment will allow Marcy to expand her research examining the future of small colleges and universities in today’s challenging higher education environment.


In recent years, Marcy has gained national attention for her work focused on higher education reform. Many of her presentations and articles have focused on the innovative work at Dominican creating The Dominican Experience for All, a distinctive educational model that is accessible, effective, and transformative for students of all backgrounds.

While at Harvard, Marcy will further develop a book manuscript based on her 2017 Change: The Magazine of Higher Learning article titled “Beyond Mere Survival: Transforming Independent Colleges and Universities.” Marcy will also lead a session as faculty for the Harvard Seminar for Presidential Leadership.

“Small colleges and universities such as Dominican University serve an important role in American society, but they are facing immense pressure to adapt to meet the demands of an increasingly dynamic economy,” said John Boneparth, Chair of Dominican’s Board of Trustees. “I congratulate President Marcy on her appointment and am delighted that her work will continue to shape the national discussion on how universities and colleges can better serve students.”

Since Marcy assumed office in 2011, Dominican has reoriented itself around the Dominican Experience for All. This focus on a distinctive institutional identity has resulted in a dramatic improvement in retention and graduation rates, a stabilization of financial ratios, and the creation of innovative academic and non-academic programs.This August, the University saw its highest freshman enrollment in five years.

The Dominican Experience for All is based on educational practices shown to improve gains for college students of all backgrounds: integrative coaching and mentorship; community engagement; student-directed signature work; and digital portfolios that showcase accomplishments. These four elements are a common and central feature of a student’s education at Dominican, regardless of the student’s major.

Full implementation of the Dominican Experience for All is still underway. In the past two years, Dominican has launched a peer mentoring program for all first-year students, infused 50 syllabi with civic-minded outcomes, expanded an annual Creative and Scholarly Works Conference to showcase signature work, and provided all first-year students with support in crafting a digital portfolio.

In addition, the University has formed community partnerships that provide new opportunities for strengthening both the academic program and the student experience. The Reimagining Citizenship initiative, a creative partnership with the City of Novato, California, provides a new way for students to pay for college, and highlights a deep commitment to civic engagement for both the city and the University. Additional innovative partnerships and programs will be announced this academic year.

“President Marcy’s work is focused on how small colleges are evolving to respond to current student needs. I am thrilled that she is joining us as a Visiting Scholar in order to highlight and share the innovation underway at Dominican University of California,” said Judith Block McLaughlin, HGSE professor and Chair of the Harvard Seminar for New Presidents.

Prior to joining Dominican, Marcy served as Provost of Bard College at Simon’s Rock and Vice President at Bard College. Previous to her leadership at Bard, Marcy worked in both public and private institutions of higher education.

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.

Nicola Pitchford, Dominican’s Vice President for Academic Affairs and Dean of the Faculty, will serve as Acting President while President Marcy is at Harvard.

President Marcy’s recent articles and presentations:

2018

Marcy, Mary B. “From Survival to Growth: Sustainability for Private Institutions.” Association of Governing Boards Preconference Workshop. 22 April 2018.

Marcy, Mary B. “Models and Options for Sustainability for Private Institutions.” Presentation to Queens University of Charlotte Board of Trustees. 15 February 2018.

Marcy, Mary B. “Resilient and Innovative Presidential Leadership.” Council of Independent Colleges President’s Institute Closing Plenary, 7 January 2018. Link to program description; Link to presentation.

Marcy, Mary B. “The Changed Environment for Presidential Leadership: Innovation and Beyond.” Council of Independent Colleges New President’s Program Presentation, 3 January 2018. Link

2017

Marcy, Mary B. “The Small College Imperative: From Survival to Transformation.” Association of Governing Boards Webinar. 30 November 2017. Link

Marcy, Mary B. “Beyond Mere Survival: Transforming Independent Colleges and Universities.” Change: The Magazine of Higher Learning. Vol. 49, Issue 3, 2017. Link

Marcy, Mary B. “The Small College Imperative: From Survival to Transformation.” Association of Governing Boards White Paper, 2017. Link

Marcy, Mary B. “Reaction to Chapter 6.” The Challenge of Independent Colleges: Moving Research Into Practice, edited by Morphew, C.C. and Braxton, J.M. Johns Hopkins University Press, 2017. Link

Marcy, Mary B. “The Changed Environment for Presidential Leadership: Innovation and Beyond.” Council of Independent Colleges New President’s Program Presentation, 5 January 2017. Link

 

September 3, 2018