President Joe Cassidy leaving this summer to be president at Saint Joseph’s College of Maine

AUGUSTA, ME (MCCS) – Joe Cassidy will be stepping down as president of Southern Maine Community College (SMCC) effective August 1, to become the president of Saint Joseph’s College of Maine.

Cassidy has served as SMCC’s president for six years and was previously president of Washington County Community College (WCCC) for five years.

“Joe has been an exceptionally engaged and intentional leader at our colleges, and we are sad to see him go,” said Joyce Maker, Chair of the Maine Community College System (MCCS) Board of Trustees. “He made deep, meaningful connections to the students, colleagues, and many partners and friends of the colleges. We wish him well in his new role.”

“My fondness for SMCC and the entire MCCS has not diminished in the least,” Cassidy said. “I continue to be proud of the work that we do to educate and uplift Mainers and to support the Maine economy. I know I step away from SMCC leaving it in the very capable hands of its world-class leaders, teachers, and staff members. For my family and I, we are excited for our next adventure in higher education at Saint Joseph’s College of Maine in Standish.”

A nationwide search for the next SMCC president will begin immediately. MCCS President David Daigler will appoint an interim president by June 15 to serve from August 1 until a new president is seated, which will likely be in spring 2024.

“Joe has become a trusted colleague and a good friend. His calm, open style, warmth and humility are the characteristics that made him the right kind of leader for the college and helped us all weather the pandemic with agility and fortitude. I am very grateful to Joe for his strong leadership and deep commitment to our colleges over the last dozen-plus years,” Daigler said.

“I appreciate his commitment to our students, growing our colleges, and deepening our ties to local communities,” Daigler continued. “Fortunately, through his leadership, the college has the depth and strength to sustain its trajectory during this transitional period. It is with both gratitude and sadness that I have come to accept his departure from SMCC. I will miss working with Joe and I wish him well at Saint Joe’s.”

In addition to serving as president at SMCC and WCCC, Cassidy simultaneously served as interim president at Eastern Maine Community College in Bangor for the 2015-16 academic year. Cassidy began his career at WCCC as a faculty member. He once served as president of the WCCC Faculty Association and as mayor of the City of Calais.

At SMCC, Cassidy always remained focused on the college’s goal of transforming lives and communities through education and training. Among his key accomplishments:

  • Leading a strategic plan process reorganizing SMCC around academic pathways that save students time and money while improving student outcomes.
  • Expanding short-term workforce training programs.
  • Developing the SMCC campus in Brunswick.
  • Leading the college community through the COVID-19 pandemic.
  • Instituting a culture of respect and learning for a diverse community and adding resources such as an Intercultural Student Center.
  • Adding courses and programs to address immediate workforce needs, including the doubling of nursing students, expanding the Construction Institute, and adding e-vehicle battery repair.
  • Expanding partnerships with organizations such as Greater Portland Immigrant Welcome Center, Prosperity Maine, and In Her Presence, among others.

Southern Maine Community College is the system’s oldest, largest, and most diverse college, with more than 6,000 students and offering 40-plus programs of study at the Portland and Brunswick campuses, online, and at satellite locations across southern Maine.