SOUTH PORTLAND — Southern Maine Community College has a new president.
Trustees of the Maine Community College System appointed Ronald G. Cantor, associate vice president and dean at Mohawk Valley Community College in Utica, N.Y., at their Wednesday meeting in Augusta.
Cantor will assume his new post on Aug. 29.
“Ron brings a set of essential attributes to this important job: highly relevant professional experiences, strong leadership skills, a vision for the college, and genuine kindness and warmth,” MCCS President John Fitzsimmons said in a press release. “I am confident that SMCC will thrive under his leadership and that students, employees, and community members will be proud to have him at the head of this great institution.”
Cantor previously served as an associate dean at Jefferson Community College in Watertown, N.Y., and as vice president of the Great Lakes Colleges Association. Altogether, he has more than three decades of experience in higher education.
Cantor holds a doctoral degree from Syracuse University, a master’s degree in higher education from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, and a bachelor’s degree from the University of New Hampshire.
“My family and I are delighted to join the SMCC community,” Cantor said in the release. “My career has been focused on education and workforce development to fuel economic and cultural growth. No place is better than Maine for accomplishing meaningful, practical goals in these areas, and Southern Maine Community College is helping to brighten the region’s future.”
Cantor will replace James O. Ortiz, who has served as SMCC president for the past 10 years and will retire this summer.
Ortiz oversaw the transition of the school from Southern Maine Technical College into the liberal arts community college it is today. He also presided over the school’s enrollment boom, tripling its growth between 2002 and 2010, and the expansion of its campus at the former Brunswick Naval Air Station.
Ronald G. Cantor