Maury Cotter Leader of Change Award

Maury Cotter Leader of Change Award


NCCI’s vision is to function as a catalyst for higher education institutions to work collaboratively across institutions to employ effective methods to advance academic and administrative excellence. To help carry out that purpose, we identify leaders of change throughout higher education to recognize them for their accomplishments, and to help link them with their peers to further leverage the impact of their good work.

Each of our institutions of higher education has leaders of change, but given the diversity of roles that these leaders play in our institutions, they often go unrecognized.  The Maury Cotter Leader of Change (MCLOC) Award identifies and celebrates these exceptional individuals whose efforts have resulted in significant impact in their institutions and beyond.

Who is a Maury Cotter Leader of Change?

A Maury Cotter Leader of Change is an individual who has played a key role in advancing major change in higher education, in academic and/or administrative areas. We are looking to recognize individuals who

  • Have led change and innovation
  • Demonstrated outcomes and impact of those changes for the nominee’s organization
  • Shared or leveraged change beyond their own organization
  • Had outcomes/impact that have been realized by others as a result of that sharing
  • Fostered a culture of innovation and collaboration

Selection & Recognition

An email will be sent to confirm the submission was received. A committee, composed of NCCI volunteers, will review materials to make a selection. One recipient will be chosen and one physical award will be given to the recipient at the NCCI Annual Conference.

Award applications and nominations open in February. 

Tina Pappas

In August 2021, Tina Pappas was appointed head of Discovery and Engagement Platforms for MIT Libraries where she leads the design, build, and integration of tools and systems that provide the MIT community and users worldwide with a platform for open, equitable digital access to information. She previously served as the Assistant Director of Innovation and Technology at Rutgers University-Newark’s Office of Technology and Learning Spaces. In this role, Pappas redesigned business processes and implemented technology platforms to simplify and enhance the student experience. Beyond her formal positions, she brought her transformative leadership to the overall Rutgers IT landscape to build cohesion across a large and vastly distributed campus network of IT units.

Pappas brings a wealth of experience with multiple non-profit associations, including NCCI, EDUCAUSE, and NERCOMP. As the founder of the national, grassroots Anti-Racism in Academia (ARiA) initiative, Pappas and her team of volunteers are responsible for creating over 300 hours of safe space for more than 1,000 individuals to engage in self-examination through intersectional dialogue about racism and effective anti-racist practices.


Robert Neuhard, Executive Director, Office of Operational Strategic Initiatives, University of California San Diego


Dr. Timothy Renick, Senior Vice President for Student Success, Georgia State University


Jake Julia, Vice Provost of Administration and Chief of Staff, Northwestern University


Joy Gates-Black, President, Delaware County Community College
Paula Gill, Vice President of Institutional Effectiveness, Belmont University


Susan Camber, Associate Vice President, Research & Student Accounting, University of Washington
Carol Mullaney, Director, Office of Continuous Improvement, University of Notre Dame
Cathy O’Sullivan, Chief of Staff to the COO, Director, Working Smarter Initiative, University of California System
Katy Rees, Associate Vice President of Administration, California State University San Marcos


Sarah Collie, Assistant Vice President for Organizational Excellence, University of Virginia
Catherine (Kate) Davy, Provost and Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs, University of Michigan-Dearborn


Deborah Ford, Chancellor, University of Wisconsin-Parkside
Peter C. (Chris) Halladay, Associate Vice President for Organizational Effectiveness, Cornell University
Peggy Huston, Director of Operational Excellence Program, University of California, Berkeley