Big change is coming to the University of Maine at Fort Kent. The school's president of three years announced yesterday morning that he will be retiring this summer. News Source 8's Katie Zarrilli sat down with John Short to find out why he chose to move on.
(VO) Both a joyous and a sad occasion. That's how UMFK president John Short describes his retirement announcement. He and his wife Caryn are feeling mixed emotions as they prepare to leave the place they've made home for the last three years.
Short: "We've loved being in this area, we've loved doing the kinds of things we've done, we love Fort Kent, and as I said to the campus this morning I'll be fully engaged through June."
(VO) His last day will be June 30th. After his wife suffered a heart attack last year and had to undergo triple bypass surgery, the two decided to move closer to family in Delaware. He says the St. John valley community knows the value of being close to loved ones.
Short: "They understood kind of why we're doing this - we're not abandoning UMFK, not saying it's in a bad position, we're saying for us it made sense family wise to make this move right now and people seem to be very supportive."
(VO) President Short says he's leaving the University in good financial condition, with a stable enrollment, and revised curricula. In his last few months he hopes to continue to make curriculum revisions and move academic partnerships forward. He says the number one lesson he's learned throughout his tenure up north is the value of community.
Short: "When I see the kinds of things the FK community will do for people locally it's truly amazing I've learned that is such a powerful kind of thing"
(VO) University of Maine System Chancellor James Page will discuss the transition with campus and community stakeholders and an an interim president will be announced before May's graduation ceremonies. Katie Zarrilli News Source 8