Preston named president at Mercer County Community College

Deborah Preston, who has more than three decades of experience in higher education, has been named the seventh president of Mercer County Community College, the school announced Friday.

She will start in the role July 1.

Preston comes to MCCC from Raritan Valley Community College in Branchburg, where she served as provost and the school’s chief academic officer for the past five years. Prior to that, she held top positions at schools in Maryland and Georgia.

Mark Matzen, chair of the MCCC board of trustees, said Preston’s experience and personality made her the perfect choice.

“I am proud to welcome Dr. Preston as Mercer County Community College’s incoming president, and look forward to her leadership as we move the college forward,” he said. “Dr. Preston’s experience and reputation as a leader who brings people together to ensure student success is exactly what we need. I am excited about the future of the college.”

Preston said she was honored to assume the position.

“MCCC is an institution that is passionate about serving students and the residents of Mercer County, and I am thrilled to join the dedicated faculty, staff and administrators on both campuses as we work together to provide inclusive, high-quality education for our community,” she said.

At Raritan Valley Community College, Preston was responsible for the executive coordination of all campus operations in direct collaboration with the president. A supporter of meaningful change, Preston developed and implemented collegewide initiatives for student equity and success, advocated internally and externally for campus resources, and provided innovative leadership throughout the COVID-19 pandemic.

Previously, Preston served in various roles with Montgomery College and Georgia Perimeter College (now Perimeter College at Georgia State University). In these roles, she spearheaded the revision of statewide general education requirements and served on the academic issues committee subgroup to update statewide program approval processes.

Preston earned a Ph.D. in English from Tulane University. She earned her undergraduate and postgraduate degrees from Florida State University.

She succeeds outgoing President Dr. Jianping Wang, who recently announced her retirement.