President Joseph CassidySaint Joseph's College is pleased to announce that Joseph L. Cassidy, JD will become the 15th President of Saint Joseph’s College of Maine, succeeding our retiring President, Dr. Jim Dlugos.

Joe has been involved in education for over 30 years, serving students as a grade school teacher, high school teacher, college professor, and for the last 10 years as a college President in the Maine Community College system. Joe joins Saint Joseph’s following five very successful years as President of Southern Maine Community College, Maine’s largest with over 6,200 students. Joe has also been a practicing attorney, the Mayor of Calais Maine, a Little League Coach and a Cub Scout Troop leader.

The Board of Trustees’ selection of Joe is the culmination of a successful nationwide search conducted with the assistance of Isaacson-Miller, a leading search firm specializing in higher education Presidential searches. The Vice Chair of our Board of Trustees, Carl Howell, ’99 led a 14-person search team representing a broad spectrum of college constituencies including students, faculty, staff, The Sisters of Mercy, and the Board of Trustees. The Board thanks Carl for his exemplary leadership including ensuring a fair and unbiased search process. We also thank the search committee for their countless hours and outstanding work.

We were blessed to attract a very large and highly qualified pool of candidates. In Joe we have found the right leader for the right time for Saint Joe’s. Several things about Joe’s skills and experiences stood out to the Trustee Committee: his extensive work building community and business partnerships in Maine; his innovative program development and problem solving within the Maine Community College system; his track record supporting diversity and inclusion including tremendous work between SMCC and the asylum-seeking community; and his overall leadership and Mercy charism.

The following excerpt from his application letter gives a glimpse into why we feel Joe, and his student-centric philosophy, will both fit in well with Saint Joseph’s current team, values and culture, and also lead us through an ever evolving academic and social landscape.

“There is no other college like Saint Joseph’s in Maine or northern New England. Young people, particularly those who spent their recent formative years navigating a worldwide pandemic, seem genuinely hungry to understand the world and to determine where they fit in it. The approach that is the Catholic Intellectual Tradition has never been more relevant. The group of young people who were most impacted by the pandemic are eager to find their place in the world. They are not content, however, just to know where they fit. They actually want to change the world for the better. They want to end injustice, build up historically disadvantaged people, and take care of the environment we all live in. They might articulate it differently, but they are searching for the truth that is only accessible at the intersection of reason and faith.”

Our excitement about welcoming a new President reflects our belief that Saint Joseph’s College is poised for an exciting future of excellence and growth. The COVID-19 pandemic took a toll on everyone in education, but at Saint Joe’s we have built significant momentum with strong on-campus enrollment growth in the past year’s entering class, while this fall’s entering class is shaping up to be the largest in five years. Under the leadership of Jim and the Trustees, we have also successfully filled several key leadership team positions in the past year, and Joe will be blessed with an outstanding staff and faculty behind him as he settles into his new role.