The State University of New York Board of Trustees today approved the appointment of Orinthia T. Montague, Ph.D. as the fourth president of Tompkins Cortland Community College.
The Tompkins Cortland Community College Board of Trustees selected Montague to succeed retiring President Carl E. Haynes following a national search that brought three finalists to campus for visits in March. Montague is currently the vice president of student affairs and chief diversity officer at Normandale Community College in Bloomington, Minnesota. Her appointment is effective July 5, 2017, which allows for a transition before Haynes’ retirement August 31.
With Montague’s selection, Tompkins County will have women leading all three institutes of higher learning in the area, all starting their first years on campus.
“The single most important job of the Board of Trustees is hiring a president. This board had the daunting task of finding a successor to Carl Haynes, our beloved and highly effective president for the past 23 years. After a lengthy and involved national search that involved students, faculty, staff and community, we were delighted to have so many high quality candidates, and we are thrilled to welcome Dr. Montague as our next president,” said Tompkins Cortland Community College Board of Trustees Chairperson Elizabeth Burns. “Dr. Montague has served in a number of important roles in institutions of higher learning, and her passion for working towards success of students of various backgrounds is a good match for this College and for the challenge of moving us forward. I believe she is the right person at the right time for the College, and I couldn’t be more pleased with the result of our search.”
Montague has been a leader in higher education for the past 18 years, including seven years at Normandale Community College, the largest community college within the Minnesota State system. As vice president of student affairs and chief diversity officer, she provides leadership, vision, and outcomes that foster student access, persistence, and completion. She has led college efforts and partnerships that involve public and private secondary schools, as well as community and business collaborations, including a partnership with Bloomington Public School District and Hennepin County to provide direct higher educational opportunities to close the gap for underrepresented populations with a focus on homeless students, foster children, and teen parents. After assuming responsibility for enrollment management, she led Normandale to a 3 percent increase in enrollment. Prior to serving as vice president, Montague was the dean of students at Normandale, where she led the development of a comprehensive tutoring center and initiated the development of a first-year experience course aimed at closing the achievement gap for students in developmental courses.
“Dr. Montague has a keen focus on strategic enrollment, as well as access and student success toward earning a degree,” said SUNY Chancellor Nancy L. Zimpher. “Her 18 years of dedicated service to higher education will be a great benefit to Tompkins Cortland Community College.”
Before joining Normandale in 2010, Montague spent eleven years at the University of Missouri-St. Louis, starting as student service coordinator and moving up to director of student life, assistant vice provost and eventually associate vice provost and dean of students.
“On behalf of the SUNY Board of Trustees, we are pleased with the selection of Dr. Montague as president,” said SUNY Chairman of the Board H. Carl McCall. “She is a strong leader who will continue to build on Tompkins Cortland Community College’s mission of creating an environment for academic success.”
Montague received a Bachelor of Arts in interpersonal communication form Truman State University in Kirksville, Missouri; a Master of Arts in counseling from Lindenwood University in St. Charles, Missouri; and a Doctorate degree in higher education administration from the University of Missouri-St. Louis in St. Louis, Missouri. She has also completed several leadership programs, including the League of Innovation Executive Leadership Institute.