President of Maine Maritime Academy announces retirement


(CASTINE, Maine) — William J. Brennan, president of Maine Maritime Academy (MMA), announced his decision Monday to retire after the upcoming school year, capping off 12 years of service to the institution.

“It is an exciting moment for me, but I really do have mixed emotions about the announcement,” said Brennan. “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.”

William J. Brennan

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

“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 at the academy; the process will be stewarded by MMA’s board of trustees. In an email to the campus community, Cianchette named AGB Search as the consulting group that will facilitate the national search and outlined a process and timeline for the selection of the next president.

“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 currently working to establish a search committee, which will consist of individuals from across Maine Maritime Academy’s diverse community and include members of its board of trustees, faculty, students and Castine residents.

In the coming weeks, AGB Search 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 successor to Brennan in January 2022.

– Maine Maritime Academy

By Professional Mariner Staff