To say that I am in disbelief and disappointed about the loss of John Fitzsimmons as president of the Maine Community College System is an understatement.

For over 20 years, I have watched the former technical college system end and then the community college system prosper and grow under John’s capable leadership. I have admired the colleges’ efficiency and ability to educate students at a reasonable rate of tuition.

As a former chair of the University of Maine System board of trustees, I have participated firsthand in the community colleges’ effort to comply with the University of Maine System regarding the transferability of credits, and I have come to realize that there are no easy or lasting answers when addressing this topic. The issues regarding the Bridge Year Program are not dissimilar.

In the spring, my granddaughter completed her Southern Maine Community College education, having been filled with valuable lessons, opportunities, caring friends and lasting memories. I doubt that the Bridge Year Program ever crossed her mind.

Maine is losing a dedicated and committed steward in higher education, and the citizens of Maine are deserving of a thorough explanation for this loss.

Sally Vamvakias