The Working Waterfront

Brennan to retire from MMA

Board praises ‘minds-on, hands-on’ education

Posted 2021-10-20
Last Modified 2021-10-20

William J. Brennan, president of Maine Maritime Academy, has announced his decision to retire after the upcoming school year, capping off 12 years of dedicated service to the institution.

“It is an exciting moment for me, but I really do have mixed emotions about the announcement,” Brennan said. “This is truly the best job I have ever had. MMA’s mission, our students, and our staff and faculty—they all mean the world to me. Still, I feel this is the right decision for me and for the academy.”

In a letter announcing his decision to Earle Cianchette, chairman of MMA’s board of trustees, Brennan articulated his love of the school and reflected on his tenure as the college’s 14th president.

“This is truly the best job I have ever had.”

“There have been no shortages of challenges,” he wrote. “But together we have worked to strengthen the quality, appeal, and ongoing integrity of our programs; to strengthen our relationship with the community in which we reside; and to embed national best practices of college administration into all aspects of the daily work of the academy.”

The announcement of Brennan’s decision initiated a formal transition process stewarded by trustees.

William J. Brennan
William J. Brennan

“President Brennan has proudly and steadfastly served the mission of this institution and carefully stewarded MMA’s reputation as a leader in maritime education,” Cianchette wrote. “He has positioned us well for continued success. It is our collective responsibility to be sure that we select a president who continues to maintain our tradition of excellence and our commitment to ‘minds-on, hands-on’ education.”

The board is working to establish a search committee which will include individuals from across MMA’s diverse community and include members of the board of trustees, faculty, students, and Castine residents.

In the coming weeks, the contracted search firm will host several listening sessions with community stakeholders in the hopes of engaging the MMA community as it creates a new vision for the future.

More information about the sessions, and the transition process in general, can be found on the MMA website. The college expects to announce a new president in January 2022.

MMA is a co-educational public college on the coast of Maine offering programs of study in engineering, management, science, and transportation. The college serves approximately 950 undergraduate and graduate students in career-oriented degree programs.

The annual job placement rate for MMA graduates is approximately 90 percent within 90 days of graduation. The college is consistently recognized for providing a high-value education by organizations such as the Brookings Institution, U.S. News and World Report, and Money magazine.