Dr. Teresa Leyba Ruiz has served students, faculty, staff, and the community as an educator for over 30 years. She retired as the President of Glendale Community College in the Maricopa County Community College District in January 2023 after 27 years of experience in higher education. Her administrative experience includes serving as a Vice President of Student Affairs, Associate Vice President for Academic & Student Affairs, and Dean of Academic Affairs.
Her commitment to making a difference in the life of students began as a 7th grade mathematics teacher. She then moved to impact lives at the high school level, and finally at the community college. Dr. Ruiz was a member of the mathematics faculty at South Mountain Community College (SMCC), serving as the Division Chair for Mathematics, Science & Engineering, Faculty Senate President and holding various leadership positions at SMCC. She has a total of 23 years of experience teaching mathematics across K-12 and higher education and ten years of executive leadership experience.
As a first-generation college student, Dr. Ruiz has a strong understanding of the needs of a diverse student population who are learning to navigate higher education. She is a strong advocate for student success and believes in the power of education to uplift a community, knowing that community colleges play a critical role on the pathway to economic mobility. Dr. Ruiz advocates for success through an equity lens, looking for opportunities to strengthen an institution through innovative solutions that lead to access and success for all students. She strongly believes in the power of having high expectations and that great things can be achieved with the right support and hard work.
Dr. Ruiz believes in continuous professional development and has participated in some of the most prestigious national leadership programs for community colleges. She was an Aspen Presidential Leadership Program fellow in 2018, an Executive Leadership Institute fellow from the League for Innovation in 2015, and a fellow of the National Community College Hispanic Council Leadership Program in 2010, among just a few.
She is honored to be recognized for her commitment to students and the community as the recipient of several awards including the Edith Sayre Auslander Outstanding Support of Hispanic Issues in Higher Education (2021) and the Alfredo de los Santos Award for Teaching/Service in Higher Education (2016), both from the Victoria Foundation and the Mother of the Year award from Valle del Sol (2019).
Dr. Ruiz has a Bachelor of Arts in Secondary Education with a major in Mathematics from Arizona State University, a Master of Education from Northern Arizona University, and Doctorate in Higher and Post-Secondary Education from ASU.