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A Unique Leadership Opportunity in Central New Jersey

Mercer County Community College launched a national search for a visionary leader to become the college's seventh president in Fall 2021. The Board of Trustees engaged RH Perry, a national search firm specializing in higher education, to conduct the presidential search, which was completed in April 2022.


Mercer County Community College Names Deborah E. Preston, Ph.D., as President

After an extensive search, Mercer County Community College (MCCC) is proud to announce the appointment of Deborah Preston, Ph.D., as its new President, the seventh in its history.

With a career spanning 30 years of dedicated service, Preston joins MCCC with a proven track record that illustrates her steadfast commitment to ensuring students receive a quality education in a welcoming environment, equipped with the proper resources needed to succeed.

“I am proud to welcome Dr. Preston as Mercer County Community College’s incoming president and look forward to her leadership as we move the college forward,” said Mark Matzen, Chair, MCCC Board of Trustees. “Dr. Preston’s experience and reputation as a leader who brings people together to ensure student success is exactly what we need. I am excited about the future of the college.”

“It is my honor and privilege to be selected as the seventh president of Mercer County Community College,” said Preston. “MCCC is an institution that is passionate about serving students and the residents of Mercer County, and I am thrilled to join the dedicated faculty, staff and administrators on both campuses as we work together to provide inclusive, high-quality education for our community.”

Prior to joining MCCC, Preston served as Provost and Vice President of Academic Affairs at Raritan Valley Community College (RVCC), where she was responsible for the executive coordination of all campus operations in direct collaboration with the President. She also oversaw RVCC’s academic affairs as Chief Academic Officer. A supporter of meaningful change, Preston developed and implemented college-wide initiatives for student equity and success, advocated internally and externally for campus resources and provided innovative leadership throughout the COVID-19 pandemic.

Previously, Preston served in various roles with Montgomery College and Georgia Perimeter College (now Perimeter College at Georgia State University). In these roles, she spearheaded the revision of statewide general education requirements and served on the Academic Issues Committee sub-group to update statewide program approval processes.

Preston earned a Ph.D. in English from Tulane University. She earned her undergraduate and post graduate degrees from Florida State University. She succeeds outgoing President Dr. Jianping Wang, who recently announced her retirement.

“Addressing a post-pandemic world will not be easy, but Mercer County Community College will lead the way with the appointment of Dr. Preston. As chair of the Presidential Search Committee, I believe we hit a trifecta: a great search firm in RH Perry, engaged colleagues on the search committee, and the selection of the best candidate to assume the role of Mercer County Community College president,” said Kevin Drennan, Treasurer, MCCC Board of Trustees.


For nearly thirty years, Dr. Deborah E. Preston has been a leader in the community college sector, serving in positions ranging from adjunct faculty member to college provost.  In each role, she has put the success of students at the forefront of her efforts and used her considerable talent to bring about positive change for those she serves.

Dr. Preston is currently the Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs at Raritan Valley Community College in New Jersey.  As provost, she has collaborative responsibility for all units of the College, including academic affairs, student affairs, finance, facilities, human resources, and workforce development.  As vice president for academic affairs, she is directly responsible for curriculum, academic support, prison education, and the University Center.  Her signature project is Access2Success, an initiative she developed to address the equity gap for students of color, first-generation students, and low-income students. In 2021, she was appointed to the American Association of Community College Commission on Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion.

Previously, Dr. Preston served for eleven years (2006-2017) as Dean for Visual, Performing, and Media Arts at Montgomery College (MD), leading a unit of over 75 faculty and staff and overseeing arts disciplines on all three campuses.  During the 2015-2016 academic year, she completed a special assignment with the Office of the Senior Vice President for Academic Affairs to develop Montgomery College’s first Academic Master Plan.  

Dr. Preston’s career began at Georgia Perimeter College in Atlanta, where she worked for fourteen years (1992-2006) as a faculty member, department chair, and campus provost.  At GPC, Dr. Preston was a recipient of the NISOD Excellence in Teaching Award and the Campus Leadership Award.  In 2004, she was selected as an American Council on Education (ACE) Fellow and was one of only two community-college administrators in her class.  

Dr. Preston earned her B.A. and M.A. from Florida State University in theatre and English, respectively, and she holds a Ph.D. in English from Tulane University. She frequently presents on topics in leadership and pedagogy at local, regional, and national conferences and has several entries in the recently published reference work, Twentieth Century and Contemporary American Literature in Context.

Institution and Leadership Profile

Read the Executive Search Profile here.

Campus video tours are available here.

Search Process Timeline*

October 21 through 25, 2021
Virtual listening sessions and online survey are available for the pre-search study presidential profile. The profile outlines the attributes, experiences, and credentials that MCCC is seeking in its next president, as well as the opportunities and challenges ahead.  Specifics details have been distributed to department and union leaders regarding specific times to meet with RH Perry. 

October 22, 2021, 2:30 - 3:30 p.m.
Virtual open forum listening session hosted by RH Perry for members of the MCCC Campus Community.  Click to connect to Zoom  Passcode 949883

November 5, 2021
Presidential profile available to candidates. The profile outlines points of distinction for Mercer County Community College, and opportunities and challenges for the college. The profile also identified the attributes and experience that MCCC is seeking in the next president. 

December 8 to 16, 2021
Presidential search committee reviews candidate materials.

January 28, 2022
The Search Committee selects semi-finalist candidates for interviews.

February 10 and 11, 2022
The Search Committee conducts semi-finalist interviews and recommends three to five finalists to the Board of Trustees.

March 7 to 11, 2022
The finalists interview with the Board of Trustees. College will host Open Forums.

March 12 to 14, 2022

Those who attend public forums or other meetings with candidates will have the opportunity to provide feedback to the Board electronically. Comments must be submitted no later than 5 p.m. on Friday, March 14 2022.

March 17 to 25, 2022
Board of Trustees selects the new president.

July 2022
President takes office.

*Subject to change

Search Committee

Mercer County Community Board of Trustees

  • Kevin Drennan, Chair of Search Committee, Treasurer of the Board of Trustees
  • Blanca Berrios-Ohler, Trustee
  • Larry Nespoli, Trustee
  • Lenora Green, Trustee

Administration, Academic Affairs and Enrollment Management & Student Experience

  • Laura Schepps, Vice President for Administration & Finance
  • Robert Kleinschmidt, Dean of Liberal Arts
  • Savita Bambhrolia, Dean of Enrollment Management & Student Experience
  • Stacy Denton, Director, TRiO Upward Bound
  • Al-Lateef Farmer, Director, Educational Opportunity Fund

Union Representatives

  • Edward Avery-Natale, Assistant Professor of Sociology, Secretary of MCCC Faculty Association
  • Nina May, Director, Institutional Research, Secretary Professional Staff Federation, AFT Local 4537
  • Elizabeth Knight, Senior Executive Assistant to the Dean of Enrollment Management & Student Experience & Student Resolution & Advocacy, President, Administrative Professional, Local 2319 AFT, AFL-CIO
  • Robert Bowman, H.V.A.C. Craftsman, President, Custodial, Maintenance, Food Service, and Security Employees AFSCME 2473
  • Leonard Winogora, Professor, Social Science, President, Adjunct Faculty Federation, UAFNJ - Chapter 2222 – AFT

Student & Student Government Association

  • Christian Joaquin Perez, Student, President of Student Government Association

 Mercer County Community Foundation

  • Daniel Klim, Foundation Member

Community Partners

  • James Chambers, Jr., Director of Business Outreach County of Mercer
  • Roberto Hernandez, Sr., Co-Founder, Director, El Centro for Catholic Charities
  • Yan Mei Wang, Member of the West Windsor Human Relations Council, Former Associate Research Scholar Princeton University

Contact Information

For further information, please email



Freshly Painted Buildings

MCCC Campus students

James Kerney Campus Exterior