Dr. Mark H. Erickson became the fourth president of Northampton Community College on July 1, 2012.
Dr. Mark H. Erickson became the fourth president of Northampton Community College on July 1, 2012, driven by a strong belief that the most innovative, exciting and important work in higher education was, and is, taking place at the nation’s community colleges. Initially attracted by NCC’s commitment to access for all students, its student-centered focus and entrepreneurial spirit, his affinity to the communities Northampton serves and his long-standing admiration for the work of the college hasn’t wavered.
A native of Nebraska, Dr. Erickson holds a bachelor's degree in American history from Princeton University and a master's degree in education from Harvard University. While earning his doctorate in educational leadership at Lehigh University, he received the Mathew W. Gaffney Award for Academic Excellence. He served in several important positions at Lehigh, including dean of students from 1990-1999, associate vice president and executive assistant to the president from 1999-2001, and vice president for administrative and government affairs from 2001-2005.
In 2005, he was named president of Wittenberg University, Springfield, Ohio. During his seven years there he was credited with facilitating the development of new academic programs, expanding international exchange opportunities, and fostering a close and mutually beneficial relationship with the regional community.
Under his leadership as president of Northampton Community College, the institution has thrived. The college was selected as one of the top 150 community colleges in the nation by the Aspen Institute in 2014, the same year NCC opened a new $72 million 84-acre campus in Monroe County, Pennsylvania. The new campus which achieved LEED Gold status for adopting environmentally-friendly building practices, led NCC to receive a Green Ribbon School award from the U.S. Department of Education, one of only nine colleges and universities in the country to receive the distinction.
NCC was also selected as one of four recipients (from 114 applicants) for the first 100,000 Strong in the Americas Grant and was later awarded a $10 million federal grant as the lead partner in a three-college consortium to prepare residents of northeastern Pennsylvania for high-demand careers.
In the process, NCC students have consistently garnered national and state honors for academic achievement. College faculty members have also been recognized, with three individuals selected as Pennsylvania Professor of the Year by the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching and the Council for Advancement and Support of Education.
Other areas of the college have also shined, with NCC recognized four consecutive years as one of the top community colleges in the country for advances in technology by The Center for Digital Education. The institution was also singled out for excellence in fundraising by the Council for Advancement and Support of Education; and as the "best place to work" among large employers in the Lehigh Valley in 2013.
In fall of 2018, NCC opened the Follett Family Center for Innovation and Entrepreneurship to provide an open learning environment that sparks an innovative spirit and leverages state of the art technology to drive an entrepreneurial mindset. The multi-million dollar center features a 7,500 plus square foot Fab Lab that includes the Martin Guitar Luthier Lab and lab spaces for electronics, computers, 3D printing, metals and machining, woodturning, woodworking, and audio recording.
Dr. Erickson’s local, state and national leadership includes serving as Chair of Community Colleges for International Development, a founding member of the Presidents’ Alliance on Higher Education and Immigration, and Chair of the Lehigh Valley Education Talent Supply Council. He also serves on the boards of the Lehigh Valley Industrial Parks, the Lehigh Valley Partnership, the Workforce Board Lehigh Valley, Campus Compact of New York & Pennsylvania and the Lehigh Valley Community Foundation Board of Associates.