University of New England President and Mainebiz's 2016 nonprofit Business Leader of the Year Danielle Ripich has announced that she will step down from her post at the private university on June 30, 2017.
Since becoming president of the University of New England in September 2006, Ripich has scoured the state and beyond to pull in new students, whose ranks have swelled 70% to more than 10,000. Accomplishments include a new campus in Tangier, Morocco, seven new buildings on two Maine campuses and three new colleges: the new College of Pharmacy in 2009 and the College of Dental Medicine as well as the new Oral Health Center, which both opened in 2013.
In addition to her recognition this year as Business Leader of the Year, Ripich was honored by Mainebiz in 2011 as a "Woman to Watch" and Junior Achievement of Maine recognized her with its Business Leader of the Year award in 2014. The American Heart Association presented her with the Crystal Heart Award for her leadership and dedication to improving the heart health of the community.
"Thanks to the hard work of my colleagues at UNE," Ripich said in a statement about her departure, "I had the rare privilege of managing an ambitious, successful and, more importantly, student-centered institution. We hired when many other institutions were downsizing, gave raises when salaries were stagnant and added new facilities when others couldn't. We are now an innovative, modern and global institution. No president could hope for better people or a better outcome. Leading UNE has been the honor of my life, and I look forward to watching its future."
David Anderson, president of the UNE board of trustees, says that the board has formed a search committee and has taken preliminary steps to find a replacement for Ripich, according to a release about the UNE president's departure.
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