At the age of twenty-five, she received her Ph.D. in English (with distinction) from the University of Pennsylvania and soon took on professorial roles at private liberal arts colleges, Haverford and Arcadia. At Arcadia, young and powerless, she organized the faculty from the grass-roots to participate in one of the nation’s first writing-across-the-curriculum programs, funded by the National Endowment for the Humanities. Her commitment to new ways of understanding writing and thinking brought her to the position of Associate Dean of the College at Brown University. The years spent at independent colleges and universities motivated her to bring the benefits available at elite institutions to students at public universities. As Dean of Experimental Program and tenured Professor of English at Queens College (CUNY), she worked with corporate and journalism advisory boards to provide opportunities for high potential/low-income students. She then spent 24 years in chief executive officer positions at Arizona State University West, University of Alaska-Anchorage, and Governors State University.
Dr. Elaine Maimon’s recent book, Leading Academic Change: Vision, Strategy, Transformation (2018), sets an agenda for essential changes necessary for institutions to educate the New Majority (first-generation, students of color, adults, and military veterans). As readers deal with the trifecta of disease, social injustice, and economic turmoil, Dr. Maimon's book acts as a roadmap for accelerating reform in higher education.
Elaine Maimon is an educator, university administrator, and author, with a long career in educational reform.
On July 1, 2020, Dr. Elaine Maimon redirected her energies from the day-to-day running of universities to national thought leadership in higher education. From the platform of the American Council of Education (ACE), where she served for five years as a Board member, she consults and communicates on educational transformations.
She and her husband Mort Maimon have returned to their hometown of Philadelphia to achieve these goals—and to spend more time with their daughter (Gillian), son (Alan), and four grandchildren.