Text A+ A- A

Search for a Transformational and Inspirational Leader

Community College of Philadelphia Trustees Announce Appointment of Donald Generals Jr. as President

The Board of Trustees today announced that Dr. Donald Generals Jr., a renowned advocate of community colleges who currently serves as the Vice President for Academic Affairs at Mercer County Community College in New Jersey, has been appointed as the next President of Community College of Philadelphia.
Generals, 57, the 6th President of the College, was appointed by the Board following a seven-month national search that drew interest from nearly 50 candidates across the country.  The Board is expected to formally ratify his appointment at its next Board meeting on April 3rd.
The search process, among the most open and transparent in the College’s history, selected three finalists in early March following weeks of review and candidate interviews by the Search Committee, which has been at work since late August.  Dr. Generals’ appointment followed visits by each of the finalists to the College’s main campus at 17th and Spring Garden St. in Philadelphia’s Fairmount section, where each met for interviews over the last week with faculty, staff, students, business and community leaders, and the full Board of Trustees.


About the Presidential Candidate Finalists

The week of March 17, 2014 is a very important week in the life of Community College of Philadelphia. The Board of Trustees will be meeting and interviewing the three finalists for President who were recommended by the Presidential Search Committee. The Board hopes all members of the College family will take the opportunity to meet the candidates and provide feedback as we move into the final stage of the selection process. Afterward, a link will be provided to an online comments form, which must be completed by 6 p.m. on the same day a candidate speaks. We also wish to thank the members of the Presidential Search Committee for their diligence and hard work in identifying a field of strong candidates.

Listed alphabetically, following is a brief biography of each finalist. Each candidate’s résumé is available below for review. The visits and final interviews begin Monday, March 17.

The Three Finalists:

Judith Gay, Ph.D.

Judith Gay, Ph.D.

Interim President, Community College of Philadelphia

Dr. Gay previously served as Vice President for Academic Affairs at Community College of Philadelphia; Division Chair at Montgomery County Community College in Blue Bell, Pa.; Full Professor and Chair of the Department of Psychology at Chestnut Hill College; and as Assistant Professor of Psychology at Gettysburg College in Gettysburg, Pa. Dr. Gay holds an M.A. and Ph.D. in Experimental Psychology from Bowling Green State in Bowling Green, Ohio, and a B.A. in Psychology from Findlay College.

Campus Visit: Wednesday, March 19, 2014
View Dr. Gay's Résumé

Donald Generals, Ed.D. 

Donald Generals, Ed.D.

Vice President for Academic Affairs, Mercer County Community College, West Windsor, N.J.

Dr. Generals previously served as Provost at the Katharine Gibbs School in New York City; Vice President for Academic and Student Affairs at SUNY Rockland Community College, Suffern, N.Y.; and Dean of Student and Cultural Affairs at Passaic County Community College in Paterson, N.J. Dr. Generals holds an Ed.D. in Social and Philosophical Foundations of Education from Rutgers University in New Brunswick, N.J.; an M.A. in Urban Education/Community Service and a B.A. in Political Science from William Paterson College, Wayne, N.J.

Campus Visit: Monday, March 17, 2014
View Dr. Generals' Résumé

Gena Glickman, Ph.D. 

Gena Glickman, Ph.D.

President, Manchester Community College, Manchester, Ct.

Dr. Glickman previously served as Vice President for Teaching, Learning and Student Development at Elgin Community College in Elgin, Il.; Associate Provost and Assistant Provost, University of Baltimore; and Executive Director for Curriculum Development and Evaluation, Harford Community College in Bel Air, Md. Dr. Glickman has a Ph.D. in Education, Policy and Planning from the University of Maryland College Park; a Masters in Counseling and Education, Johns Hopkins University School of Education in Baltimore, Md.; and a BFA from Maryland Institute College of Art, also in Baltimore.

Campus Visit: Tuesday, March 18, 2014
View Dr. Glickman's Résumé

The daily schedule for the finalists’ visits is as follows:

9:00 – 9:45 a.m. – Meeting with College administrators
Center for Business & Industry, Room C2-28

10:00 – 10:45 a.m. – Meeting with Classified and Confidential employees
Center for Business & Industry, Room C2-28

11:00 – 11:45 a.m. – Meeting with College faculty
Center for Business & Industry, Room C2-28

Noon to 12:45 p.m. – Meeting with College students
Center for Business & Industry, Room C2-28

2:00 – 3:00 p.m. – Open forum
Center for Business & Industry, Room C2-28

About the College

Community College of Philadelphia is an exciting and dynamic urban institution with a mission to provide access to higher education for all. The College was created by state legislation in 1964 and began classes in 1965 with 1,941 students. Community College of Philadelphia is an open admission, associate degree-granting institution. More than 70 associate degree and certificate programs of study are taught by a well-qualified faculty and provide a foundation for transfer, employment and lifelong learning.

Annual enrollments are approximately 29,000 credit and 6,000 noncredit students. More than 685,000 students have attended Community College of Philadelphia since its inception. The attractive Main Campus is adjacent to Philadelphia’s business and cultural center. Main Campus was developed around the third U.S. Mint Building, which houses administrative offices and classrooms. The campus has grown in recent years to include award-winning classroom and laboratory buildings, culinary kitchens, an expanded café, student life and athletics centers, a centralized enrollment center, and a center for business and industry. The College also operates three Regional Centers around the city to increase access to education for all Philadelphians.

Among the many programs and faculty awards are an ACHIEVEability Commitment to Education Award (2013) and the Lee Noel-Randi Levitz Retention Excellence Award for the Center for Male Engagement (2012). The Nursing program has been recognized three times as a National League for Nursing Center of Excellence. The College has also been designated an Achieving the Dream Leader College. The Division of Marketing and Government Relations has won national and regional awards for its commercials, videos, brochures and publications from the National Council for Marketing and Public Relations. In January 2013, the College was chosen as the home of Goldman Sachs Goldman Sachs 10,000 Small Businesses – Greater Philadelphia, a national initiative designed to help entrepreneurs create jobs and economic opportunity.

Community College of Philadelphia is governed by a fifteen-member Board of Trustees who are committed to student success. The current FY budget is $140.6 million, including $14.0 million for capital expenditures. Revenue to support the College comes from the City of Philadelphia (15.2%), the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania (22.8%), students (59.3%), and other sources (2.7%). An active Foundation has current assets of nearly $12.6 million and completed a $17 million campaign in 2012.

More than 1,500 full-time and part-time faculty, staff and administrators work at the College. Full-time faculty, part-time faculty and classified staff are represented in collective bargaining by the Faculty and Staff Federation of Community College of Philadelphia, American Federation of Teachers Local 2026. Community College of Philadelphia is fully accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education, the Pennsylvania Department of Education, and several program-specific accrediting bodies. Explore the College website for more information.


About Philadelphia

Philadelphia is an exciting, world-class city. It is the 5th largest city in the U.S. with great neighborhoods, museums, theaters, restaurants, professional sports, health care, higher education and a thriving business base. This exceptionally livable city was the crucible of American democracy, and its historical and cultural sites attract millions of national and international visitors annually. It is a vibrant, diverse community in every sense. Rail, air and highway transportation provide accessibility to anywhere in the world as well as to the beaches, mountains and major metropolitan locations. Many top-rated colleges and universities are in the city or nearby.

Despite these positives, Philadelphia lags behind peer cities when it comes to educational attainment. According to a 2011 report by The Pew Charitable Trusts, only 23% of its residents currently have graduated from college. This low rate helps to drive Philadelphia’s high poverty rate of 25%. Philadelphia’s leaders recognize that a skilled and better educated workforce is one of the key elements in the region’s future economic success. Therefore, it is important that citizens and businesses look to Community College of Philadelphia to build on its strong foundation and become a world-class community college that leads more and more students each year to academic success. The College is a vital educational resource that allows residents to gain specific skills for in-demand occupations and further education, complete a college degree, change careers and keep competitive in their current job. For more information about Philadelphia visit the City of Philadelphia and Visit Philly websites.

Leadership Opportunities and Challenges

The core values of Community College of Philadelphia are integrity, academic excellence, diversity, communication, respect, and commitment to teaching and learning. Student success is the College’s highest priority. The College embraces its role as an affordable, quality educational opportunity for the citizens of Philadelphia and as a stimulus for economic development. The next President of Community College of Philadelphia will have an exceptional opportunity to help lead the College toward excellence in academic programs, workforce development and improved student success. The College seeks a transformational and inspirational president who will lead the College from good to great.

The core values of Community College of Philadelphia are integrity, academic excellence, diversity, communication, respect, and commitment to teaching and learning.


Some of the leadership opportunities and challenges include the following:

Student Success — Students who complete their studies at the College do very well when they transfer and/or enter the workforce. Alumni tend to stay in the community and become leaders. However, a very large percentage of entering students require remediation, and most of them do not persist to successful completion of remedial courses, or qualify to enter and complete degree programs. The leadership opportunity and challenge is to guide the College in developing accelerated remedial programs that quickly prepare students for college-level work; to modify student support systems to help larger numbers of students expand their vision of personal opportunities through education, to persist, and ultimately to graduate; to work with public schools to improve college readiness of high school graduates; and to work with public and private agencies to improve college readiness for adults.

Raise Community Awareness of Community College of Philadelphia — The College has a strong record of serving the educational needs of the community. Those who have studied at or partnered with the College see great value in its programs, faculty and staff, and services. Nevertheless, a substantial number of people, businesses and organizations know little about what the College is and how it may serve the educational needs of the Philadelphia region. The leadership opportunity and challenge for the new president is to be a visible and effective leader in Philadelphia—from its centers of business and civic leadership to its diverse and dynamic neighborhoods, and to guide the College in making the College a place of choice for college-bound students, as well as for businesses and organizations.

Financial Support — The College has a strong record of financial stability, enjoying balanced budgets, clean audits and the maintenance of needed financial reserves. In the past several years, however, neither state nor local support has kept pace with institutional growth and needs. Students are paying a greater share of the costs, and for many students, increasing tuition may place too great a financial burden on their resources. About 75% of students receive some form of financial aid. The College’s Foundation raises money for scholarships, and recently the College has been more active in pursuing grants. The leadership opportunity and challenge for the new president is to maintain strong fiscal accountability; work with local and state government to explore new models of public support; provide leadership to the Foundation and help it raise more money, especially for student aid; and to increase fundraising for capital and educational programs.

Campus Climate — Faculty, staff and administrators enthusiastically embrace the mission of Community College of Philadelphia as an urban, public community college. They care about the College and its students. There is a need, however, to build trust among faculty, staff and administration. The leadership opportunity and challenge for the new president will be to re-establish confidence and trust among all employees, leading the entire community to greater student success. The new president must be energetic, engage all employees and be a visible supporter of employees, and publicly celebrate their achievements.

Internal Structure and Service — Through the services they provide, the College staff are committed to their roles and to helping students and other employees. Students, however, report being sent from one office to another and back again to get services or information. Employees report that they confront bureaucratic processes when they need support from another office. It may be that individual programs and services have developed policies and procedures that serve the program well, but that lead to perceptions of red tape to others. Many organizations face similar problems of complexity as they grow, and some organization experts refer to this as a “Silo Effect.” The leadership opportunity and challenge for the new president is to foster an environment of teamwork, flexibility, and especially efficiency from the end-user perspective, and to create a culture of collaboration that serves the needs of students first and foremost, and employees.

Board Fiduciary Responsibilities — The fifteen members of the Board of Trustees are appointed by the Mayor of Philadelphia and are responsible to the citizens of Philadelphia to ensure that Community College of Philadelphia fulfills its mission in a responsible, ethical and financially sound manner. The Board does not get and should not be involved in the management or daily operations of the College, but they need good, timely and pertinent information on which to determine the status and future of the College. Currently, too much data overwhelms a Board and too little leads to questions and concerns about operations. The leadership opportunity and challenge for the new president will be to work with the Board and senior staff to develop a comprehensive “dashboard” of data indicators that will help the Board understand status, issues, concerns and progress of the College; and build a relationship with the Board to leverage their resources to advance the College mission.

College Diversity and Equity — Students at Community College of Philadelphia reflect the diversity of the community and include international students, but the faculty of the College are not as diverse. The leadership opportunity and challenge for the new president will be to assist the College in ensuring diversity and equity throughout the institution, as well as in its hiring process and vendor relations.

Educational Programs and Services — More than 70 high-quality degree and certificate programs, taught by well-qualified faculty, have produced outstanding graduates. High percentages of residents in all major urban centers such as Philadelphia, however, lack educational attainment, struggle with literacy and are unable to qualify for the available jobs. The leadership opportunity and challenge for the new president will be to strengthen the existing academic programs and services, as well as help the College work with public and private agencies to increase citizens’ successful entry into training and higher education.

Qualifications for the College President

Community College of Philadelphia seeks a transformational and inspirational leader to drive a culture of student success and to build an institution of education and training excellence to promote regional growth and prosperity. The successful candidate will be one who can establish a high standard for quality and develop a dynamic culture of collaboration in support of the College’s mission. The successful candidate will be one whose education, experience, achievements and personal characteristics most closely fit the College’s leadership challenges and opportunities.

The following is a list of the most important characteristics for candidates:

  • Skills for defining a strategic focus — a strategic, visionary thinker.
  • Skills to create a culture of evidence and inquiry.
  • Experience in leading a diverse organization, including experience in recruiting and developing a diverse faculty and staff.
  • Skills to redesign policies, organizational structure and staffing patterns to improve student outcomes.
  • Demonstrated knowledge of high-impact practices to improve student success.
  • Leadership and executive experience at a senior level indicative of leading a comprehensive community college.
  • Academic credentials appropriate for leading a college; a doctorate is preferred.
  • Experience working successfully in a collegial and collective bargaining environment.
  • A passion for teaching and learning and an understanding of how technology may be used to enhance instruction; teaching experience preferred.
  • Inspirational and charismatic, able to work and interact effectively in a complex urban environment with elected officials, business leaders, civic leaders, neighborhoods and citizens.
  • Excellent communication skills.
  • Experience with fundraising.
  • Ability to work well with a governing board.
  • High ethical standards and personal integrity.
  • A congenial person with a sense of humor and positive personality.
  • A person comfortable in any company who will maintain high visibility on and off campus.
  • Experience with successfully managing sizeable finances and budgets.

This search is being assisted by: Robert E. Parilla, Ph.D. (301.518.2071) and Carlos Hernandez, Ph.D. (201.850.7881), Search Consultants at AGB Search.

Presidential Search Committee


Jeremiah J. White, Jr.
Board of Trustees, Community College of Philadelphia
President & CEO, White & Associates


Marcus Allen
CEO, Big Brothers/Big Sisters of Southeastern Pennsylvania
Matthew Bergheiser
Chairman of the Board of Trustees, Community College of Philadelphia
Executive Director, University City District
Suzanne R. Biemiller
Vice Chair, Board of Trustees, Community College of Philadelphia
First Deputy Chief of Staff, City of Philadelphia
Shalimar Blakely
Community College of Philadelphia Alumna
Executive Director, African-American Chamber of Commerce of PA, NJ and DE
Mary Anne Celenza, Ph.D.
Dean of Math, Science and Health Careers, Community College of Philadelphia
Reverend Danny Cortés
Executive Vice President and Chief of Staff, Esperanza
Allen Farrington
Group Leader, Business Services, Community College of Philadelphia
Bonnie Harrington
Director of Student Records and Registration, Community College of Philadelphia
Stacy E. Holland
Board of Trustees, Community College of Philadelphia
Chief of Strategic Partnerships, School District of Philadelphia
Willie F. Johnson
Board of Trustees, Community College of Philadelphia
Founder and Chairman, PRWT Services, Inc.
Jason Mays
President, Student Government Association, Community College of Philadelphia
Stephen Spinelli, Jr., Ph.D.
President, Philadelphia University
Stella Tsai
Board of Trustees, Community College of Philadelphia
Partner, Archer & Greiner, PC
H. Ray Welch, Jr.
Executive Vice President of Ministry Operations, Catholic Health East
Wayne Williams
Assistant Professor and Department Chair, Department of Business Administration, Community College of Philadelphia
Education Services Director, 10,000 Small Businesses Program, Community College of Philadelphia
Rob Wonderling
President and CEO, Greater Philadelphia Chamber of Commerce
Arlene M. Yocum
President of Community College of Philadelphia Foundation
Executive Vice President and Managing Executive of Client Service, PNC Wealth Management