AUGUSTA — Dr. Richard Hopper, president of Kennebec Valley Community College since 2013, has announced his decision to leave the College at the end of May after eight years of service to Maine and the mid-Maine region. He has been awarded a Fulbright Fellowship in Ukraine.

“These eight years leading KVCC have been an immense privilege,” Hopper stated. “The institutional development and transformation by our leadership team, faculty, staff, students, and community has exceeded anything we could have imagined. My overwhelming response to all that has been accomplished at the college is a deep sense of appreciation. I am most grateful to have led the delicate transition of KVCC to pandemic operations. In spite of the social distancing and remote learning – or perhaps because of it – our community somehow feels ever more tightly knit and caring.”

KVCC Vice President of Student Affairs, Enrollment and Public Relations Karen Normandin will serve as interim president for the 2021-22 academic year. A search for the next KVCC president will be undertaken early next year.

“From the outset of his tenure, Dr. Hopper worked tirelessly to learn, improve, and advance the College,” said Maine Community College System Board of Trustees Chairman William Cassidy. “Over the last eight years, Rick brought great energy and creativity to his position. His many accomplishments include overseeing the construction and opening of the new KVCC Harold Alfond Campus in Hinckley, increasing student enrollment, implementing data-driven decision making, and increasing the College’s fundraising. He was also a System leader in advancing student support strategies and services at both of his College’s campuses,” added Cassidy.

Maine Community College System President David Daigler also praised Dr. Hopper. “Rick was frequently a leader in identifying and designing strategic and accountability initiatives. He always sought data-driven analyses to ensure that important decisions were informed, and significant investments were prudent. And, like all of our presidents this past year, he kept a steady hand during the many challenges of the pandemic.”

“Perhaps most importantly though, Rick was ready to participate thoughtfully in issues of access, support, and opportunity. He cared deeply about those striving to improve their lives through a community college education. We all wish Rick well in his next role as a Fulbright Fellow and in all future endeavors,” President Daigler added.

Normandin, who will begin her duties on June 1, has worked at KVCC for more than 30 years, and has deep ties to the students, faculty, staff and larger community. She has twice received the President’s Award for her leadership and was a John T. Gorman Fellow in 2019.