MCCCD Governing Board Names Dr. Steven R. Gonzales the System’s Permanent Chancellor

Tempe, Ariz, September 27, 2022 – Tonight, the Maricopa County Community College District (MCCCD) Governing Board voted to appoint Dr. Steven R. Gonzales as MCCCD’s permanent Chancellor. Dr. Gonzales has led the system in an interim capacity since January 25, 2020, when he was appointed by the Governing Board after the departure of former Chancellor, Dr. Maria Harper-Marinick.

“For nearly three years, Dr. Gonzales has served as Interim Chancellor of MCCCD with great leadership, honor, and innovative thinking,” said MCCCD Governing Board President Marie Sullivan. “Despite unprecedented difficulties dealing with a global pandemic that made its way through communities and educational institutions, Dr. Gonzales’ leadership helped launch several key initiatives while still providing the most cost-effective higher education in the State of Arizona,” President Sullivan continued. “Whether it was enabling historic four-year Baccalaureate Degrees to the First Ever Artificial Intelligence Lab in the US to providing hundreds of new employees to support Arizona’s workforce through groundbreaking Workforce Development Programs – Dr. Gonzales has been there every step of the way leading the effort for our MCCCD students, faculty, and staff. On behalf of the MCCCD Governing Board, I am thrilled that effective immediately, Dr. Steve Gonzales will serve as our official Chancellor for the Maricopa County Community College District.”

Over the last three years, Chancellor Gonzales has led MCCCD through the global, COVID-19 pandemic. Under his leadership, the system’s ten colleges successfully transitioned 96% of classes to remote learning, donated PPE, and served the community by offering space for COVID-19 testing and vaccines. He led the advancement of critical workforce partnerships including the launch of MCCCD’s first-of-its-kind Artificial Intelligence associate degree program, and the state-of-the-art Semiconductor Technician Quick Start program. In March of this year, Dr. Gonzales joined First Lady, Dr. Jill Biden for a briefing event where he shared how the groundbreaking program would support local workforce and growing industry needs. Most recently, Dr. Gonzales was named one of Phoenix Business Journal’s Most Admired Leaders of 2022.

Capitalizing on positive momentum, Chancellor Gonzales set Standards of Excellence for the 2020/21 academic year in which he worked to stabilize executive leadership for the organization, increase enrollment, implement a Board-approved fiscal budget while developing a model for revenue streams, and provide recommendations and implementation for a multi-year strategic compensation plan for employees.

“I am incredibly humbled and truly honored to be appointed to this position. I would like to thank the Governing Board President Marie Sullivan and members of the board for their faith in my leadership,” said MCCCD Chancellor, Dr. Steven R. Gonzales. “As a System, we have taken on a number of challenges throughout the past three years and I’m grateful for the hard work and dedication from our faculty and staff, who in every moment rose to the occasion. Throughout my tenure, I have dedicated my work to the vision and mission of our System. I look forward to the important work ahead and collaboration with students, faculty, staff, and community partners as I lead the Maricopa Community Colleges into a new era.”

In May 2021, MCCCD’s Governing Board unanimously approved a two-year contract extension, allowing Dr. Gonzales to continue leading the system as Interim Chancellor, while creating continuity for the faculty and staff as the district transitioned from the impact brought on by the pandemic.

“Congratulations to Dr. Steven Gonzales on this important role as Chancellor of the Maricopa County Community College District,” said Governor Doug Ducey. “Arizona will continue to benefit from Maricopa’s workforce development training, two-year degree programs and now four-year degree programs, helping to propel college students from classrooms into fulfilling careers.”

“I am overjoyed to hear the Maricopa County Community College District Board’s decision to install Steven Gonzales as its permanent Chancellor,” said Phoenix Mayor Kate Gallego. “Chancellor Gonzales has been a strong partner to the City of Phoenix, particularly in our efforts to ensure workers have the best skills to meet the demands of local employers. Our region is better because of his leadership, and I look forward to working together to bring more high-wage jobs to Phoenix.”

Prior to his role as Interim Chancellor, Dr. Gonzales served as President of GateWay Community College for nearly seven years. Before joining MCCCD Dr. Gonzales served as the Acting Associate Vice President of Academic Affairs and Chief Academic Officer, for the Pinal County Community College District that operates as Central Arizona College (CAC). During his 15-year period at CAC, Dr. Gonzales held a number of leadership positions including Dean of Communications, Math, and Learning Support and Associate Dean of Academic Services. Additionally, Dr. Gonzales dedicated much of his time to students, working as a math professor.

Dr. Gonzales holds a Bachelor of Science in secondary education – mathematics and a Master of Arts in teaching mathematics from Northern Arizona University. He earned his doctorate in educational administration from the top-ranked Community College Leadership Program at the University of Texas at Austin.

Dr. Gonzales will begin serving in his new role as MCCCD Chancellor effective immediately.

Media Contact:

Chuck Coolidge, (480) 686-2331,

About the Maricopa Community Colleges

The Maricopa County Community College District includes ten individually-accredited colleges – Chandler-Gilbert, Estrella Mountain, GateWay, Glendale, Mesa, Paradise Valley, Phoenix, Rio Salado, Scottsdale, and South Mountain – and the Maricopa Corporate College, serving approximately 100,000 students with two-year degrees, certificates, and university transfer programs.

Posted in AZBio News.