February 4, 2002
Dr. James O. Ortiz
James O. Ortiz was seated as the new president of Southern Maine Technical
on February 4, 2002. Dr. Ortiz succeeds Wayne Ross, who retired in January
after serving as the College's president - the largest and oldest of Maine's
seven technical colleges - for over 23 years.
"Dr. Ortiz brings to us a rich and diverse background," said
John Fitzsimmons, President of the Maine Technical College System. "His
own higher education began at a community college so he truly understands
the opportunities a two-year college can provide for students and the
Since 1998 Ortiz has served as Vice President of Academic and Student
Affairs at Bunker Hill Community College, a two-year college in Boston.
At Bunker Hill, Dr. Ortiz led the college's annual planning process, helped
establish a Teaching and Learning Center, built extensive community partnerships,
led the college's distance learning initiative and worked closely with
the Faculty Association to create an atmosphere of dialogue and trust.
In prior posts, Dr. Ortiz served as Dean of Academic Affairs at Columbia-Greene
Community College in Hudson, New York; Executive Dean of Educational and
Student Services, Professor of Sociology at Finger Lakes Community College
in Canandaigua, New York; and Director of Academic Support Services at
Northern Essex Community College in Haverhill, Massachusetts.
Dr. Ortiz earned an Associate of Arts in Liberal Arts at Queensbough
Community College in New York. He holds a Bachelor of Arts in Political
Science from Hunter College (also in New York), a Master of Social Work
in Community Organization from New York University, and a Doctorate of
Education in Policy and Administration from Boston University.
"He is known by his colleagues as an extremely strong academic leader
as well as a consensus-builder and communicator." Fitzsimmons continued.
"I am confident that Dr. Ortiz will be an exceptional leader for
Southern Maine Community College."
"I am honored and pleased to be joining the College and southern
Maine community," said Dr. Ortiz. "I look forward to building
on the college's past success and broadening our role in meeting the education
and training needs of the citizens and businesses of the region."
Dr. Ortiz and his wife Joyce will live in South Portland.