Southern Maine Community College President James Ortiz will retire at the end of July, the president of the Maine Community College System announced today.
System President John Fitzsimmons praised Ortiz’s leadership of SMCC and his commitment to the college and its students since he took the job in February 2002.
“Southern Maine Community College has thrived under Jim Ortiz’s leadership, growing from 2,850 students to over 7,000 students," Fitzsimmons said in a news release. "Those of us who have had the good fortune to work with him will miss him, and we wish him all good things in his retirement.”
Under Ortiz, the college transitioned to a comprehensive community college and became the fastest growing community college in New England, growing 146 percent between 2002 and the fall of 2010. Over the past several years, Ortiz has laid the groundwork for SMCC’s new midcoast campus at the former Brunswick Naval Air Station.
Before coming to SMCC, Ortiz served as vice president of academic and student affairs at Bunker Hill Community College in Boston.