December 5, 2021

Tompkins Cortland Community College names new president

Minnesota college educator Orinthia Montague to begin tenure in July

Bob Ellis/staff photographer — A student walks into Tompkins Cortland Community College in this March photo. The college announced its new president this afternoon.


DRYDEN — The SUNY board of trustees announced this afternoon that the fourth president of Tompkins Cortland Community College is Orinthia Montague, formerly the vice president for student affairs at Normandale Community College in Bloomington, Minnesota.

Montague replaces Carl Haynes, who will retire Aug. 31 after 23 years as president of TC3. She starts July 5.

The SUNY board of trustees made the announcement, endorsing the recommendation of the TC3 board of trustees last month and TC3 followed the announcement with its own announcement.

TC3 Trustee Chad Coates said at the SUNY board of trustees meeting, that TC3 was looking for a visionary leader who would uphold the college mission to serve and strengthen its commitment to student success; trustees found that in Montague.

“From an extensively diverse and well-qualified pool of applicants, Dr. Orinthia Montague emerged as the top candidate and received a unanimous vote from each member of the board of trustees,” Coates said.

Montague said she was humbled and honored.

“Throughout my life I have been diligent in finding ways to support individuals in their life’s journey as I’ve had support from everyone I’ve encountered,” she said.

She said TC3 embraces student success and access to opportunities and works to help students think both locally and globally.

“I am proud to become part of the SUNY system,” she said.

Montague was the vice president of student affairs and chief diversity officer of Normandale Community College since 2014. Before that, she was dean of students at Normandale and, according to her resume, was associate vice provost and dean of students at the University of Missouri.

Montague received a bachelor of arts in interpersonal communication from Truman State University in Kirksville, Missouri.; a master of arts in counseling from Lindenwood University in St. Charles, Missouri.; and a doctorate 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.

Haynes, 71, is the longest-serving president in the college’s history.