Mercer County Community College has put their current president on suspension with only three months to go in her contract.

Dr. Jianping Wang, the school's president for six years, ended contract negotiations in 2021 and said she would retire in August 2022, according to a report by The College Voice, the MCC student newspaper.

The Mercer County Community College Board of Trustees in a statement to New Jersey 101.5 said it received the results of an independent investigation and placed Wang on paid administrative leave effective immediately. Vice President Barbara Basel will be appointed interim president through June 30.

The school did not disclose the reason for the suspension.

"Mercer County Community College does not comment on personnel matters," spokeswoman Liz Thomas told New Jersey 101.5.

The investigation was commissioned in part because of allegations of misconduct against board chairman Mark Matzen which she told The Trentonian contributed to her decision to end contract negotiations

Mercer County Community College/Facebook
Mercer County Community College/Facebook

A tumultuous relationship

The final years of her tenure were steeped in controversy including a vote of no confidence from the school's faculty. She was accused  of "grievously mismanging the college’s human capital, undermining shared governance, marginalizing employees, endangering the health of students, faculty, and staff, and instigating high employee turnover which creates an unstable workforce and corrodes morale.”

Wang told The Trentonian, which was the first to report her suspension, that she was not clear about the reason for her suspension.

Prior to her suspension, the school announced Wang's successor as Deborah Preston, previously a Provost and Vice President of Academic Affairs at Raritan Valley Community College. She will become the school's seventh president.

Dan Alexander is a reporter for New Jersey 101.5. You can reach him at

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