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Brian Murphy Named President of De Anza College


M. Brian Murphy, executive director of the San Francisco Urban Institute at San Francisco State University, was named president of De Anza College at the May 17 meeting of the Foothill-De Anza Board of Trustees. His appointment will begin July 1st.

"The board of trustees is pleased to have someone of Brian Murphy's caliber following in the footsteps of former De Anza President Martha Kanter," Board President Paul Fong said. "His extensive experience in California higher education and with the legislature, and in developing programs for the diverse communities of San Francisco, will be great assets to De Anza College, the Foothill-De Anza Community College District and the entire Silicon Valley region."

"I am greatly honored to join De Anza College," said Murphy. "I'm looking forward to collaborating with the college's faculty, staff, students and community as we work for the continued excellence of this remarkable and vibrant educational institution."

"I am delighted that a widely recognized regional, state and national leader in higher education will bring an exciting vision to advance the mission, goals and reputation of De Anza College at this crucial time of growth and economic challenge," said Kanter. Murphy will be only the third president in De Anza's 37-year history, following A. Robert DeHart (1967-1992) and Kanter, who served from 1993 until being named chancellor of the district in 2003.

Murphy has served as executive director of the San Francisco Urban Institute at San Francisco State University (SFSU) since the institute's inception in 1992. The Urban Institute is a nationally recognized model of university collaboration with civic and community-based organizations, bringing together resources to address issues critical to the city and the Bay Area, including economic development, workforce preparation, urban environmental restoration, inner-city education and health, and business and community development.

From 1989 to 1995, Murphy was director of external affairs for SFSU and from 1993 to 1998 was senior advisor to the chancellor of the California State University system. He was chief consultant to the California State Legislature's Joint Committee for Review of the Master Plan for Higher Education from 1985-1989 and served as chief of staff to then-Assembly Member John Vasconcellos. Murphy holds doctoral and master's degrees in political science from the University of California, Berkeley, and a bachelor's degree magna cum laude in political science from Williams College.

While heading the Urban Institute, Murphy has continued to teach in the university's political science department, where he is a tenured member of the faculty. He has also taught political theory and urban politics at Santa Clara University, University of California at Santa Cruz, University of California at Berkeley and the university's Boalt Hall School of Law, and Merritt College in Oakland. He has published widely in the areas of democratic theory and planning and is a much-sought-after speaker on higher education policy. His international experience includes working on community and economic development projects in Afghanistan, Algeria and Jamaica.

"Brian Murphy has worked successfully with everyone from state policymakers to neighborhood groups to individual students," said SFSU President Robert A. Corrigan. "As founding director of the Urban Institute, he has brought the ideal of civic engagement to life in ways that will continue to better San Francisco and San Francisco State University. He is an outstanding choice."

Murphy's selection concludes the process that began last July when Kanter assumed the position of chancellor. De Anza College Vice President of Instruction Judy C. Miner was named interim president as a nationwide search for a permanent replacement ensued, undertaken with the assistance of the Association of Community College Trustees (ACCT). A 14-member search committee, comprised of faculty, staff, administrators, a community member and a student, reviewed applications, interviewed semifinalists and named three finalists for Kanter's consideration. In April, the finalists met with faculty, staff, student leaders and members of the board of trustees. Finalists also participated in well-attended open forums at the college, after which attendees provided Kanter with written feedback.

"The presidential search has been a thorough and inclusive process," said Kanter. "We had excellent candidates, and are fortunate to have found such an outstanding match for the position in Dr. Brian Murphy. We look forward to welcoming him to the campus and the district in July."

The Foothill-De Anza Community College District serves 45,000 students each quarter, 26,000 of them at De Anza College in Cupertino.