The leader of Arizona’s largest community college district will have a say in whether Pima Community College gets off probation next year.
Rufus Glasper, longtime chancellor of Maricopa County’s sprawling 10-college system, is being appointed to the Chicago-based Higher Learning Commission, the accreditor that placed PCC on probation last year.
Glasper recently was named to the commission’s Board of Trustees, the body that decides the fate of accredited institutions. His term starts Sept. 1.
The trustees are to decide early next year whether PCC has made enough progress in fixing serious problems to be taken off probation.
An accreditor’s review last year found the college suffering from widespread mismanagement and a lax, “dysfunctional” Governing Board.
Glasper has nearly three decades of experience in the Maricopa system, including the last 11 years as its chancellor.
Lee Lambert, PCC’s new chancellor, said he welcomes Glasper’s appointment but doesn’t think it will affect Pima’s fate one way or the other.
“He is one of many individuals on the board,” Lambert said.
Andrew Tucker, a spokesman for the Maricopa chancellor, said it wouldn’t be appropriate for Glasper to entertain questions about his new role yet since the appointment doesn’t take effect for another few months.
“He’s looking forward to working with the commission to help students succeed,” Tucker said in an email.
The Higher Learning Commission also accredits the University of Arizona and many other colleges and universities statewide.