Mary S. Spangler is the Chancellor of Houston Community College, one of the largest and most respected community colleges in the nation. As a professor, administrator and national advocate for higher education, Dr. Spangler has devoted her career to community colleges and their students. She has successfully led three of the largest, most diverse and complex urban institutions in the country. She served first as president of Los Angeles City College, the flagship institution of the Los Angeles Community College District, and then as chancellor of Oakland Community College, the largest community college in Michigan. In her leadership roles she has been at the forefront of change and at the center of some of the most important thinking about the future of education in large, diverse and growing communities. Dr. Spangler has successfully led complex institutions undergoing strategic reorganization.
Since becoming the seventh chancellor of the Houston Community College district in March 2007, Dr. Spangler increased access from 55,000 to more than 72,000 students in just three years. Under her leadership, HCC has reached out to communities across the region and internationally to provide expanded higher educational opportunities, making the college more essential to the city’s success. She has reorganized the senior administration to increase efficiency, reduce costs and move more resources to HCC’s six campuses.
In addition, Dr. Spangler has forged partnerships among faculty, staff and community stakeholders to leverage resources, maximize return and increase enrollment. She has been instrumental in developing and implementing programs and partnerships through Relevance and Opportunity: A Strategic Plan Essential to Our Future, HCC’s strategic plan designed to be responsive to the community and proactive in ensuring student success.
Dr. Spangler led the team chosen from among eight U. S. community colleges by the Qatari government to institute a fully operational college designed to meet that nation’s educational needs. HCC was chosen because of its highly motivated leadership, performance-driven programming and high international standards. The five-year partnership, part of Qatar’s educational reform, is the largest international service partnership with an American community college to date.
Dr. Spangler was on the American Association of Community Colleges (AACC) board for three years. She now serves on the boards of the Greater Houston Partnership; Texas Association of Community Colleges; Community College Leadership Forum of the Education Advisory Board; BioHouston; Community College of Student Engagement’s (CCSE) National Advisory Board; and Educational Testing Service’s (ETS) National Community College Advisory Council. She is Executive Committee Co-Chair of the American College and University Presidents Climate Commitment (ACUPCC) and a Visiting Faculty and Advisory Member of the Salzburg Global Seminar and has received numerous honors and awards recognizing her leadership and service to the communities she has served. The most recent include “2009 Educator of the Year” from the Arab American community in Houston and being named one of the “50 Most Influential Women in Houston” by Houston Woman Magazine.
Dr. Spangler has been appointed to advisory councils and taskforces by Governors Davis (CA), Granholm (MI), Perry (TX), and Secretary of Homeland Security Napolitano (AZ), who named her the only community college CEO to the National Governors’ Association Innovation America Task Force (2006-2007). Dr. Spangler also serves on national commissions of the American Council of Education (ACE), the American Association of Community Colleges (AACC), and the Hispanic Association of Colleges and Universities (HACU).
Dr. Spangler writes articles and makes frequent presentations at local, state, national and international conferences on leadership and professional development, strategic planning, sustainability, and global issues as they impact higher education, diversity and inclusiveness, fund raising and cost effectiveness, community partnerships, and innovation. She holds a Doctorate in Education and a Masters in English from the University of California, Los Angeles.