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By Paul Bradley  /  
2015 December 3 - 03:35 pm

De los Santos Resigns From League Leadership

Longtime Executive To Be Succeeded by Maricopa Chancellor Glasper

Gerardo E. de los Santos, who has served as the president and CEO of the League for Innovation in the Community College for the past decade, is resigning his post as he deals with serious family health issues.

His successor has already been named. He is Rufus Glasper, chancellor of Maricopa Community Colleges for the past 13 years, is retiring from that post to become the League’s new president and CEO.

Glasper is a longtime member of the League’s Board of Directors, which will provide for a seamless transition, de los Santos said.

Based in Chandler, Arizona, the League is an international nonprofit organization that provides strategic insights and undertakes policy work for community colleges across the country. The League hosts conferences and institutes, develops web resources, conducts research, produces publications, provides services and leads projects and initiatives with more than 800 member colleges and 160 corporate partners.

For de los Santos, the decision to resign was particularly wrenching. His father, Alfredo G. de los Santos Jr., research professor in the Hispanic Research Center at Arizona State University, recently was diagnosed with Stage 3, inoperable lung cancer. His mother is seriously ill and their son is urgently needed to care for his elderly parents.

“My father has been my mother’s caretaker, but with him fighting this cancer, my family needs me more than ever,” de los Santos said. “In my current role, I just would not be able to do it. It’s very demanding. There is a lot of travel involved, and after a lot of soul searching and talks with my family, we decided this would be the prudent thing to do.”

De los Santos, 47, has worked for the League for 17 years, first as vice president and chief operating officer before becoming president in February 2006. He holds a Ph.D. from The University of Texas at Austin’s Community College Leadership Program and is a graduate from Mesa Community College in Mesa, Arizona.

“It was a difficult decision,” de los Santos said. “The League has been my life. It’s my dream job. But when your family needs you, it is really an easy choice.”

De los Santos will officially depart on Feb. 1, when Glasper will take over.

Glasper has worked for Maricopa Community Colleges, one of the nation’s largest community college systems, for nearly 30 years in a variety of roles. He has been director of finance, chief financial officer and vice chancellor. He was named chancellor in 2003.  The system serves nearly 130,000 students across ten campuses and several satellite locations

“This decision was not an easy one,” Glasper wrote in a memo to Maricopa employees. “I believe that the many organizational and academic initiatives that are now in motion throughout the Maricopa Community Colleges are well on their way to enhancing the District’s position as a leader among community colleges nationally.”

“As I have had the privilege to provide vision for initiatives impacting student success and innovation for our colleges, I am humbled and grateful for the opportunity to now provide leadership in the community college arena on a national scale,” he added.

Glasper earned his doctorate of philosophy degree in higher education finance from the University of Arizona, a master’s and advanced degrees in school business administration from Northern Illinois University, and a bachelor’s degree in business administration from Luther College in Decorah, Iowa.

De los Santos said he is pleased with the League’s accomplishments during his tenure.

 “I have had the honor of working with a lot of great partners and be a voice for the field,” he said. “We have gone deep into leadership development. We are helping to train the next generation of college leaders, and I am very proud of that.”

He also plans to return to eventually return to the higher education field.

 “I don’t know what’s next,” he said. “I am stepping away, not stepping down.”

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