Dr. Gale E. Gibson President Essex County College

Dr. Gale E. Gibson
Essex County College

A transformative leader in higher education for 20 years, Dr. Gale E. Gibson was appointed as the seventh president of ECC and the second woman to lead the Newark-based community college. She was selected to the school’s top position by the College’s Board of Trustees, on October 15, 2013, after serving an extremely successful period as the College’s Interim President. During her tenure as Interim President, the College applied for and was awarded over $24 million in grant funds. These grants will be used to fund initiatives that will increase student graduation and retention rates; major campus expansion projects; new partnerships promoting urban farming and hydroponics and a host of initiatives that will contribute to the overall success of Essex County College students.


Prior to serving as the College’s Interim President, Dr. Gibson previously served as Essex County College’s Senior Vice President for Academic Affairs & Chief Academic Officer. As Senior Vice President, Dr. Gibson was charged with providing strategic vision and leadership for the development, implementation, staffing, assessment, and grant funding initiatives for academic programs of the College. She was responsible for establishing and overseeing programs consistent with the College’s long-range strategic goals and objectives. In addition, she provided the College with direction and leadership in curricular affairs, planning, instruction, student and academic assessment, and the overall accreditation process.


A long-time advocate for implementing and integrating data-driven and evidence-based decision-making into an institution’s infrastructure, Dr. Gibson led the charge to bring the College into compliance with the Middle States Commission on Higher Education’s Standard 14 (Assessment of Student Learning); the compliance led the College to having the Commission reaffirm its accreditation in March 2013. As part of her strategy, she created a General Education Task Force to ensure that “Gen Ed” is properly assessed and integrated at both the course and program levels, and designed a curriculum mapping framework that received special commendation from Middle States.


Dr. Gibson has been effective in saving the College close to $2 million dollars in adjunct faculty expenditure due to scheduling efficiencies, while simultaneously building and deepening relationships with said adjunct faculty. She reinvigorated the College’s academic leadership team with three academic deans, a director of academic assessment, an assessment specialist, and a faculty specialist. She also promoted and enhanced the institution’s presence, academic programming, articulation agreements and grant funding opportunities through community partnerships.


Dr. Gibson came to Essex in December 2011 after serving as founding Dean of the College of Freshman Studies, and Professor in the Department of Student Affairs and Services, at Medgar Evers College of the City University of New York. She exemplified a strong student-centered perspective during her years at Medgar Evers College, where she worked closely with incoming freshmen. During her 16 years at Medgar Evers, she oversaw nine departments critical to student retention, progression and graduation. She also worked in the areas of academic affairs and student success at North Carolina State University.


Throughout her career in higher education, Dr. Gibson’s accomplishments have been recognized by numerous organizations; including the American Association of State Colleges and Universities’ Millennium Leadership Institute and most recently the Essex County Democratic Committee and Essex County Democratic Women.


Dr. Gibson earned her Doctor of Education in Higher Education Administration with a concentration in Adult and Community College Education from North Carolina State University. She received a Master of Arts in Social Sciences and Counseling, and a Bachelor of Science in Business Management from Binghamton University – State University of New York. In addition to her love of higher education, Dr. Gibson enjoys spending time with her fiancé and her two young sons, traveling and playing tennis.