February 4, 2002

Dr. James O. Ortiz
New President of
Southern Maine Community College

Dr. 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 surrounding community."

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.