Chancellor Steps Down

Dr. Maria Harper-Marinick has announced she will not renew her contract after serving as chancellor of Mesa Community College (MCC) for three years.

After serving as provost, Dr. Harper-Marinick has been chancellor since 2016. She faced speculation for being a part of the Maricopa County Community College District’s (MCCCD) governing board’s decision to end meet-and-confer, ultimately resulting in a vote of no- confidence from nine colleges in the MCCCD Faculty Association in her leadership.

On Feb. 27, 2018, the MCCCD governing board announced their decision to end the longstanding practice of meet-and-confer. Meet-and-confer was the opportunity for MCCCD faculty to discuss with the governing board topics such as school concerns and pay raises. The MCCCD governing board termed the meet-and-confer process as ‘collective bargaining’ and provided this as their reason for its termination.

The American Association of University Professors (AAUP) specifically cited the decision to end meet-and-confer as their reason to begin an investigation. At the time, Dr. Harper-Marinick was the chief administrative officer at the district level. The AAUP released their investigation on March 7, 2019, stating: “Meet-and-confer is not collective bargaining. In collective bargaining, parties are required to negotiate in good faith in certain terms and conditions on employment…Meet-and-confer, on the other hand, is
governed by standards and rules mutually agreed to by the parties involved and set forth in politics such as the ones contained in the RFP.”

The Mesa Legend reached out to the MCCCD Faculty Association regarding Dr. Harper-Marinick’s decision to retire and received a statement from President Keith Heffner.

About Author

Allison Cripe is a guest writer for the Mesa Legend. She also writes songs and short stories such as this one in Across the Margin: Dogs are her spirit animal(s).