Allahabad University graduate spearheaded community college movement model for other parts of the world
Maryland Governor Wes Moore has appointed Dr. Sanjay Rai, a noted Indian American educationist who spearheaded community college movement model for other parts of the world, as Acting Secretary for the Maryland Higher Education Commission.
â€œDr. Rai brings more than 30 years of career experience and dedicated commitment to innovation, access, and leadership in higher education,â€ said Moore announcing his appointment on Wednesday.
â€œThe Maryland Higher Education Commission is critical to creating success for Marylandâ€™s students and I look forward to the transformative partnerships Dr. Rai will forge to build pathways to work, wages and wealth.â€
â€œI am honored to join the Moore-Miller administration,â€ said Dr. Rai, an Allahabad University graduate who came to the US as an international student 33 years ago.
â€œThis is a historic opportunity to build upon a strong higher education system of community colleges, the University of Maryland System, and private colleges.â€
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â€œWe must create an inclusive higher education ecosystem that provides meaningful and affordable access to higher education and workforce training to all residents in the state,” he said.
â€œWe will ensure that homegrown talent combined with research advancements will make Maryland a prime destination for employers around the nation and the world for relocating, starting and expanding their businesses.â€
Dr. Rai has consistently and vigorously advanced innovations that bolster student success in academic, career, technical, and workforce development programs throughout his career, according to his official profile.
He has worked to remove barriers to educational access through the redesign of developmental education, revision of alternate placement policies, and embedding of coaches in classrooms to increase student success.
Dr. Raiâ€™s community college background provides a unique and valuable perspective on post-secondary educational alignment with academic and workforce needs.
Dr. Rai also helped create programs that meet the needs of emerging industries like cloud computing, cybersecurity, cell and gene therapy, and data science.
READ: US Community College model holds hope for Indiaâ€™s poor students (November 6, 2019)
With Bachelor and Master of Science degrees from the University of Allahabad, India, Dr. Rai earned an MS degree from Dalhousie University, Halifax, Canada before getting a doctorate in Mathematics from the University of Arkansas.
He has received several awards for leadership, teaching, and scholarship and has authored numerous scholarly articles and other academic publications.
Last year, President Joe Biden honored him with Presidentâ€™s Lifetime Achievement Award for â€œlifelong commitment to building a stronger nation through volunteer service.â€
The award honors those who complete more than 4,000 hours of service over the course of their lifetime through AmeriCorps, an independent US government agency that engages more than five million Americans in service.
He most recently served as Senior Vice President for Academic Affairs and led the Workforce Development and Continuing Education Unit at Montgomery College.
Before that, he was Vice President and Provost at the Germantown Campus of Montgomery College (2009-2013) and Instructional Dean of the Science Engineering and Mathematics program at the Rockville Campus of Montgomery College (2004-July 2009).
Earlier, he served as Chair of the Department of Mathematics at Jacksonville University, Jacksonville, Florida, and as Associate Professor at the Department of Natural Sciences at Texas A&M International University, Laredo, Texas.
Dr. Rai has also served as a board member of Governorâ€™s Life Sciences Advisory Board and the Maryland Tech Council and Pinkney Innovation Complex Science and Technology Foundation. He is also a member fo the Governance Committee of the Montgomery County Economic Development Corporation.