FAIRFIELD — Barbara Woodlee, 28-year president of Kennebec Valley Community College, has announced her retirement. Again.

And in making the announcement, officials revealed the new name of the property that the college acquired in January: Harold Alfond Campus.

Woodlee, 65, initially planned to retire in 2010.

But two national searches didn’t yield a successor and Woodlee stayed on.

And what a two years it’s been.

Maybe the most dramatic development was the college’s acquisition in January of 702 acres of the 2,450-acre Good Will-Hinckley campus on U.S. Route 201 in Fairfield.


Philanthropist Harold Alfond, who died in 2007, provided money to buy much of the new property though his foundation.

Woodlee said Thursday that with the acquisition of the new campus complete, she feels “comfortable stepping back.”

“I have been honored and truly blessed to serve as president of KVCC,” Woodlee said in a news release.

“It has been exciting to watch the college develop and grow. Every year brought a new set of challenges and opportunities, as well as new faculty and staff members.”

Woodlee, who has been with the college of about 2,500 students for 36 years, said she has forged many wonderful friendships at the college.

“Without a doubt, I will miss the students, faculty and staff the most,” she said. “Leaving is difficult, but I do not plan to slow down until my very last day at the college.”


Woodlee showed no signs of slowing down the day her retirement was announced; she was in meetings much of Thursday afternoon.

When she does retire as president Dec. 31, Woodlee will continue to be part-time academic officer for Maine Community College System.

In a February interview, Woodlee said she regularly started her work days around 5 a.m., reading and responding to email.

Maine Community College System President John Fitzsimmons praised Woodlee for her work on behalf of the college and its students.

“I am so grateful to Barbara for her willingness to continue at the college longer than she had originally planned,” Fitzsimmons said in a news release. “Over the past two years, she has led KVCC through a period of remarkable growth and positioned it for a very bright future.”

In each of the past two years, The Aspen Institute has named the school one of the best community colleges in the country.


A search for a new president will begin immediately, according to Helen Pelletier, director of public affairs for the Maine Community College System.

She also confirmed the name of the added campus property, which is six miles north of the Western Avenue campus.

The college system’s job announcement for Woodlee’s successor says that a home for the new president will be built and available by December on the new campus.

A review of applications will begin July 13.

In recent months, the college unveiled a state-of-the-art health-care simulation laboratory and Northeast Solar Heating and Cooling Instructor Training Project, and commissioned its 80-foot, 5-kilowatt wind turbine on Western Avenue.

Programs to be launched this fall include a 28-credit sleep technologist certificate and a two-year autism spectrum disorder studies degree program.


With the recent addition of a portion of the historic Good Will-Hinckley land, the college expects to increase its enrollment to 5,000 and to add more new programs, including a degree in agriculture.

Two weeks ago, Woodlee and architects with Mohr & Seredin, a landscape architecture firm in Portland, talked about tentative plans to develop an academic quadrangle on Harold Alfond Campus, including additions to Averill-Alfond School and Harold Alfond Recreation Center, as well as construction of a 500-to-1,000-seat performing arts center. The campus green would be surrounded by those three core campus structures, as well as historic Moody Chapel.

A future phase of the campus development calls for dormitories.

Beth Staples — 861-9252


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