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ASU taps vice provost for community college partnerships


October 10, 2008

Maria Hesse, president and chief executive officer of Chandler-Gilbert Community College, has been appointed ASU’s vice provost for community college partnerships.

Hesse, who serves as chairwoman of the ASU Alumni Association’s board of directors, will assume her new post effective July 1.

“For decades, ASU has worked closely with the state’s community colleges to advance the cause of higher education in Arizona,” says ASU President Michael Crow. “This year, 5,446 college students transferred into ASU; of that number, 3,166 were from the Maricopa Community College District (MCCD).

“As we move forward, Maria Hesse, because of her years of experience with MCCD and several of its colleges and her knowledge of ASU, is the ideal person to expand and enhance those connections.”

ASU also is committed to graduating more students to enhance the nation’s work force.

“In response to the state’s need for more baccalaureate degree recipients, ASU is committed to improving articulation with the community colleges in the state,” says Elizabeth D. Capaldi, ASU’s executive vice president and provost. “As an ASU alumna and well-respected community college president, Dr. Hesse is the ideal person to lead our partnerships with the community colleges that will achieve this aim.”

Hesse says there were several reasons why she was delighted to accept ASU’s offer.

“This position will allow me to continue working with all of the Maricopa Community Colleges, as well as other community colleges in the state, helping many students to transfer and complete baccalaureate degrees,” she says. “ASU has some exciting new plans toward this end, and I am enthused about playing a part in dramatically increasing student baccalaureate degree completion in this state.”

Hesse earned her bachelor’s and MBA degrees at ASU, and she has been active with the ASU Alumni Association for 20 years. She says she is happy to be returning to the university, where she has many friends.

Hesse has a long and varied background in education, especially at MCCD, where she has worked for the district and held positions at many of the system’s institutions. Since 2002, Hesse has been president and chief executive officer of Chandler-Gilbert Community College, where she oversees overall operations of the community college that serves about 15,000 students and more than 600 employees.

Programs and services offered by the community college include general education, university transfer programs, developmental education and workforce development.

“Maria will provide exceptional leadership for our community college partnerships, and her long-term service to the Maricopa Community Colleges will be a significant asset to ASU,” says David Young, ASU senior vice president for academic affairs.

Hesse served as vice president of academic affairs at Chandler-Gilbert Community College from 1998 to 2002.

Other positions she has held at the community college include:

• Business and computer information systems faculty member, 1989-1998.

• Associate dean of student development, 1988-1989.

• Supervisor of admissions and records, 1987-1988.

• Adjunct faculty member, 1987-1989.

In addition to her two ASU degrees, Hesse earned a doctorate in educational leadership and a master’s degree in education from Northern Arizona University. She also is a graduate of the Institute for Educational Management at Harvard Graduate School of Education.

From 1984 to 1986, Hesse worked as the director of the Ford Foundation Transfer Opportunities Program, and directed student activities and services at South Mountain Community. She was principal of Judson School in Scottsdale, where she also served as a teacher, dean of girls and dormitory counselor from 1977 to 1984.

Awards that Hesse has won include the Alumni Hall of Fame Award from the College of Public Programs at ASU; Outstanding Doctoral Student from Northern Arizona University; Ardeth Cropper Award in Educational Leadership; Woman of Distinction Award from Soroptimist International of the San Tans; and Women Leaders Distinguished Achievement Award from Maricopa Community Colleges.

She has provided consulting services to numerous educational institutions in states such as Arizona, California, Ohio, Texas and Florida.