Rio Salado College, MCCCD - Tempe, AZ

The Interim Chancellor of the Maricopa Community Colleges has announced a national search to fill the position of President of Rio Salado College. The Chancellor and College seek an experienced successful leader who is entrepreneurial and has demonstrated excellence that led to student success in non-traditional and traditional settings. The new President will be committed to working collaboratively to ensure Rio Salado prepares for the future in multiple ways that best serve its large and diverse body of student learners throughout the county and country. The President will proactively lead the College’s Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Belonging initiative. The President will possess the professional and personal skills to be an effective team member within a large multi-college system.


The President is the Chief Executive Officer of the College and reports directly to the Chancellor. Operating within District policies and procedures, the President is responsible for all College operations, strategic directions, and assigned district-wide initiatives. The President directs the operation of the institution through subordinate instructional and operational administrators. The President has full authority to administer and manage the College and participates in policy and operational decisions of the District.


Rio Salado College is part of the Maricopa County Community College District (MCCCD), which includes ten regionally accredited colleges, serving approximately 200,000 students with two-year degrees, certificates, and university transfer programs.

MCCCD celebrates over 90 years of excellence and innovation in serving its larger and diverse communities throughout Maricopa County. The Maricopa Community Colleges are the largest provider of post-secondary education in Arizona and offer comprehensive programs in transfer, occupational, professional, continuing education, and special interest curricula to meet its communities’ needs. The District’s colleges have received numerous awards and recognition for their achievements.


Rio Salado College is located in the beautiful Phoenix area of Arizona. The immediate area offers numerous fine arts and cultural events as well as year-round opportunities for the outdoor enthusiast. The area is known for its sunny weather and is a popular tourist destination.

Rio Salado College is known as America’s Online Community College. It has been a premier leader in innovation and excellence in distance learning for over 40 years. From the beginning, in 1978, its goal was to serve non-traditional students. In the last 20 years, it has served more than a quarter-million education students online. The college has locations for in-person learning throughout the Phoenix Metropolitan area and also serves students online throughout Arizona and the country. Today the College has grown to serve nearly 50,000 students annually with approximately 28,000 enrolled in online learning and 22,000 enrolled in in-person programs.

Rio Salado is recognized nationally for having made education accessible, flexible, and affordable to meet the needs of today’s students. By continuing to cast a vision of excellence, the College expanded its mission to include Adult Basic Education, guided pathways, community-based learning, corporate and governmental partnerships, and early college initiatives. These initiatives gave rise to program offerings such as dual enrollment, Adult Education and GED, workforce development, and specialized services for the military, and incarcerated persons. Its public radio and community service programs are exemplary. These and other distinct features of the College are representative of the talented and diverse workforce that exist across the Rio Salado community.

The College’s unique instructional model is comprised of more than 1,100 adjuncts who are directed by 24 dedicated residential faculty. Overall, the College offers over 130 degree and certificate programs and 600 online classes in a wide variety of subjects. Their flexibility is further demonstrated by a calendar that includes numerous new classes every Monday morning. The College is accredited through the Higher Learning Commission and has received numerous national awards for its success and innovation in serving non-traditional students. The College recognizes the importance and value of diversity, equity, and inclusion and prides itself on continuing to strive to be a place where learners are the focus and students and colleagues are treated with respect and dignity and feel a sense of belonging.


The successful new President will:

  1. Provide entrepreneurial, forward-thinking, and collaborative leadership that enables the college to build on its accomplishments as it enhances its unique identity leading to continued excellence and success.
  2. Foster exemplary innovation for in-person and distance learning that utilizes the most effective and efficient technology allowing Rio Salado to excel in a competitive higher education environment.
  3. Identify and implement enrollment strategies that result in enrollment growth by reaching out to current and new groups of non-traditional students that can readily access Rio Salado’s variety of instructional settings and approaches.
  4. Support high-quality instruction and student support services throughout the College’s many venues that lead to retention, completion, and closing of the achievement gap.
  5. Champion a culture of care by ensuring that students and employees are respected, listened to, supported, and actively included in shared governance creating a cohesive college-wide team.
  6. Proactively lead the College’s Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Belonging initiative that is exemplary and has the potential of positively impacting every aspect of the College.
  7. Honor and continue the College’s major effort to develop a new Strategic Plan and prepare for an upcoming accreditation visit.
  8. Nurture existing and new partnerships with business and industry, governmental agencies, and education (K-16) to contribute to expanded opportunities for students, a skilled workforce, and the economic development and growth of Maricopa County.
  9. Effectively generate, acquire, and manage resources and funding from a variety of sources to support on-going and new services not funded by traditional revenue allocations.
  10. Advocate and collaborate on behalf of the College within the District and with other Maricopa colleges on regional, state, and national goals while serving as an effective member of the Chancellor’s Executive Council.


Training and Experience (Two Options)

Minimum Qualifications for Student Affairs or non-academic pathway:

Master’s Degree from a regionally accredited institution in education or field related to area of assignment and four years of progressively responsible management and/or leadership experience in a field of assignment that includes two years of supervisory experience. Examples of student affairs academic support management/leadership experience includes: program management, project management, budget development and management related to programs or projects, staff supervision, policy development, administration, evaluation and compliance. Equivalency allowed for Non Academic area.

Minimum Qualifications for Academic Pathway:

Master’s Degree in a teaching field related to area(s) of assignment and four years of experience in an academic leadership and/or supervisory role in higher education and three years of teaching that includes curriculum/coursework development. Examples of academic leadership/supervisory experience includes: division/department chair. Project management, policy development, administration, evaluation and compliance, committee leadership, program director, and shared governance. No equivalency.


A Doctorate Degree from a regionally accredited college or university

Experiences and Qualities:

  • Experience in a multi-college system
  • Experience with distance learning
  • Knowledge of transfer programs, adult education and workforce development
  • Experience in supporting student services programs
  • Experience in application of current educational technology
  • Passionate about the community college mission and student success
  • Forward and Big-Picture thinker
  • Advocate for diversity, inclusion, and equity
  • Successful experience with shared governance
  • Politically savvy

Personal Attributes:

  • Collaborative
  • Transparent
  • Ethical
  • Responsible Risk-Taker
  • Effective communicator and listener
  • Excellent interpersonal skills
  • Personable, approachable, and highly visible
  • Patient, caring, and kind


For the full Job Classification, see

Essential Duties of the President include (but are not limited to):

  • Plan, organize and direct the implementation of District policies and programs, College operations and the delivery of education services
  • Facilitate institutional change by supporting innovation and risk-taking
  • Leads and implements effective enrollment management strategies by demonstrating an understanding of the obstacles and barriers students face
  • Establish and foster productive partnerships with regional businesses, community organizations and other educational institutions
  • Work closely with multi-cultural community to assess needs and develop appropriate programs
  • Demonstrate financial leadership working within constrained budgets and ensuring the viability of the organizational mission
  • Develop and recommend long and short term College goals and objectives; direct the administrative and operational achievement of College goals
  • Ensure operational alignment and integrated efforts with College programs and services throughout the District
  • Actively participate in campus and local community life
  • Provide essential leadership in fundraising
  • Serve on committees and councils as directed by the Chancellor


  • Supervisory principles, practices and techniques
  • Principles and practices of executive and strategic leadership
  • Principles and practices of higher education management
  • Principles and practices of methods of public and business administration
  • Principles, practices and methods of budgeting, procurement and human resource management
  • Principles and practices of group facilitation and building consensus
  • Principles and applications of critical thinking and analysis
  • Conflict resolution and negotiation strategies
  • Applicable federal, state and local laws, codes, and regulations


  • Managing, supervising, evaluating and motivating staff
  • Training, coaching and overseeing the development of staff
  • Reading, analyzing, evaluating, interpreting written materials and statistical data
  • Exercising strategic and political acumen, tact and diplomacy
  • Facilitating collaboration
  • Public Speaking
  • Communication and Interpersonal Skills

This is a confidential search process. To ensure full consideration, application materials should be received no later than February 22, 2021. The position will remain open until filled.

Posted On: Friday, December 18, 2020

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