Linda Scherr has been named vice president for Academic Affairs at Middlesex County College (MCC) after a national search.
Scherr was hired as dean of Arts and Sciences at MCC in 2016 and served as acting vice president for Academic Affairs since October.
“Linda comes to the role of chief academic officer with experience as both a faculty member and an academic administrator,” MCC President Mark McCormick said in a prepared statement. “She understands the faculty perspective and has demonstrated an ability to work with faculty in the development of new programs and piloting of initiatives to improve student outcomes.”
Scherr is a historian by discipline, with a Ph.D. in Ancient History from the University of Pennsylvania and a bachelor’s degree in History and Near Eastern Studies from Cornell University. She was a faculty member at Mercer County Community College from 1998 to 2012 before serving as dean for Instructional Effectiveness and then acting dean of Math, Science and Health Professions at Mercer. She is the author of numerous scholarly publications, largely focused on archaeology and ancient history, and has presented nationally on teaching, learning and assessment.
She serves as a peer evaluator for the Middle States Commission on Higher Education, the regional accreditation agency that accredits colleges and universities in New Jersey and other mid-Atlantic states, according to the statement.
Scherr served as the co-chair of the statewide General Education Coordinating Committee that reviewed the General Education status of all courses at New Jersey’s 19 community colleges. She was honored by the New Jersey Council of County Colleges with the Community Spirit award in 2008 for her leadership, according to the statement.
“I am honored to be selected as the next vice president for Academic Affairs at MCC,” she said in the statement. “Throughout my career as a faculty member and administrator, I have been student-focused and deeply committed to the open access community college mission that provides pathways for successful transfer for bachelor’s degrees, well-paid employment, lifelong learning and civic engagement. Since starting at the college in 2016, I have been continually impressed with MCC’s high-quality programs and services and the passion and dedication our faculty, staff and administrators have for students’ academic and professional growth and success. I look forward to working with the faculty, staff and students to build on MCC’s culture of innovation in programming from the Arts and STEM to Professional Studies and Allied Health and to expand our programs and services in ways that align with the College’s strategic priorities and serve the residents of Middlesex County and beyond.”
Scherr has supported faculty at MCC in accelerating completion of developmental English and mathematics courses, saving students time and money. She has also worked with faculty to expand the use of high quality free or low-cost Open Educational Resources in place of often higher-cost textbooks and software to further reduce costs for MCC students. In the 2019-20 academic year alone, such efforts have resulted in savings to students of over $1 million, according to the statement.
“Linda’s record of and passion for maintaining high academic standards while at the same time increasing retention and graduation rates aligns well with MCC’s mission to provide access to a quality, affordable education,” McCormick said in the statement. “I look forward to collaborating with her to ensure that MCC prepares students for transfer to four-year colleges and universities as well as the world of work.”