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Fort Lewis College President Tom Stritikus stepping down to lead Occidental College in Los Angeles
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Fort Lewis College President Tom Stritikus stepping down to lead Occidental College in Los Angeles

FLC Board of Trustees to name an interim president at a special meeting on April 1.

President Tom StritikusDURANGO, Colo.— After six years at the helm of Fort Lewis College, President Tom Stritikus is stepping down to become the President at Occidental College, a four-year liberal arts college in Los Angeles, Calif. 
 
He will leave after this year’s Spring Commencement scheduled for Saturday, May 4. 
  
“We are grateful for the inspired and dedicated leadership that Tom has brought to campus, and know that we will miss his tireless energy, vision for innovation and equity, and his engaging and visible presence on campus,” said Mary Rubadeau, chair of the FLC’s Board of Trustees. 
  
“On behalf of the Trustees, I want to express our sincere appreciation for his outstanding and courageous leadership and acknowledge that we are stronger as a campus community as a result of his dedicated service.” 
  
Rubadeau said the board will take immediate steps to convene and appoint an interim president and establish the framework and timeline for a presidential search. 
  
“In the spirit of shared governance, the Board of Trustees will announce opportunities for faculty, staff, and students to be involved in the selection process for a permanent successor.” 
  
Stritikus joined FLC in August 2018. During his tenure, the College experienced dramatic increases in fundraising and embarked on a process to confront its history as a former boarding school. 
 
Stritikus said he was excited about the new challenges he would face at Oxy, but the decision was bittersweet. 
  
“I’ve loved every single day of serving as President of Fort Lewis College, getting to know the amazing students that make our community so special,” Stritikus said. “It’s been a tremendous honor to work with our faculty, staff, and trustees. Our team has made great strides in recent years, and I leave the College knowing that it’s in great hands to provide our students with the student-centered education they deserve.” 
  
Trustee Steve ShortSteve Short, chair of the FLC Foundation Board and former trustee, said when Stritikus joined FLC, the College faced steep budget cuts and enrollment drops, contributing to declining morale among faculty, staff, and students. 
 
“Given the increasing challenges of funding higher education and the associated pressure on tuition, Tom collaboratively worked with the FLC Foundation Board, the Foundation’s CEO, and the entire advancement staff to achieve the most successful philanthropic efforts in the College’s history,” Short said. 
 
Trustee Mary Rubadaeu“Tom approached his presidency with energy, enthusiasm, and passion, always committed to placing students first and foremost. Through his tireless leadership, he assembled a team across campus with a like-minded commitment to excellence. While his dedication and leadership will be missed, he leaves the College well-positioned for a vibrant future.” 
 
Rubadeau agreed, adding that while saddened by Stritikus’ departure, the FLC Board of Trustees is thankful for the lasting impacts of his vision. 
  
“His leadership resulted in new academic programs, extensive capital projects, increases in grant funding for innovation and workforce readiness, strong partnerships with Tribal, business, and community leaders, and strengthening campus culture,” she said.  
  
“Looking ahead, we are filled with optimism and enthusiasm for the future of Fort Lewis College.”

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