CALAIS, Maine — The Maine Community College System will reopen the search for a new president for Washington County Community College.
System President John Fitzsimmons said Wednesday that he had interviewed three candidates identified by a search committee but told the system board of trustees he would not be making a recommendation at this time.
Instead, Fitzsimmons announced he has named Charles P. Collins, state director of Early College for Me, as the interim president for WCCC.
Fitzsimmons spoke at a meeting of the trustees at WCCC on Wednesday morning.
Collins, a longtime administrator in the community college system who served as dean of students at Central Maine Community College from 1997 to 2006, will begin serving on Jan. 4 to replace WCCC President William H. Cassidy who announced earlier this year that he will retire at the end of this month.
Collins will not be a candidate for the president’s position, Fitzsimmons said.
In a related matter, trustee chairman Daniel E. Wathen announced that the trustees plan to confer emeritus status on Cassidy. Although the board will not formally act on the honor until its January meeting, Wathen said the trustees wanted to make the announcement at Washington County Community College, among the staff and faculty, where Cassidy has served as president since 2003.
Cassidy will become the college’s second president emeritus, an honor he will share with Ronald Renaud, who served as the college’s second president. Renaud attended the trustees meeting on Wednesday.
Fitzsimmons said the president’s search will be reopened immediately.
“We will be advertising nationally within the week,” he said.
He added that he has appreciated the support from those in the college community, who have agreed with the decision to continue the search. They have agreed that “it is better to wait.”
“The decision to name a new president is the most critical decision that I make and that the trustees make,” he said. “The right candidate is out there. He or she is out there waiting to come to this college.”
Collins is expected to serve as interim president through the end of this academic year, by which time the trustees hope to name a new president.