AUGUSTA, Maine — Derek Langhauser, who has been serving as interim president of the Maine Community College System and its seven campuses for the past year, has been hired to fill the job on a permanent basis, the system announced Tuesday.

“From the start of his service as interim president, the board has recognized and been deeply grateful for the strength of President Langhauser’s leadership,” board chairman Robert Clark said after trustees voted unanimously to hire Langhauser.

Langhauser’s hiring follows a yearlong nationwide search. Fourteen people applied for the position, according to system spokeswoman Helen Pelletier.

On Jan. 14, 2015, then-Maine Community College System President John Fitzsimmons resigned under pressure from Maine Gov. Paul LePage, who criticized the community colleges president for being unavailable and too slow to enact the governor’s higher education agenda.

Two days earlier, LePage said community college trustees would “ feel the wrath” if they did not seek to end Fitzsimmons’ 25-year tenure. Fitzsimmons resigned to avoid any potential political fallout, he said.

Langhauser, who had served as the system’s lawyer for more than 20 years starting in 1994, was appointed to take over in the interim later that month.

The Bates College and University of Maine School of Law graduate has served as president of the National Association of College and University Attorneys, chairman of The Journal of College and University Law Board of Editors, and several other national positions.

Langhauser will earn $175,000 per year as system president, according to Pelletier.

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