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Fort Lewis College’s president stepping down to lead Occidental College in Los Angeles

The president of Fort Lewis College in Durango is stepping down to take a new job leading Occidental College, a four-year liberal arts college in Los Angeles.

Tom Stritikus has served as Fort Lewis College’s president for six years, guiding the school through the pandemic and an effort to recognize the university’s past as an Indian boarding school and pursue remediation.

“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 in a news release. “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.”

Stritikus will head out after spring commencement on May 4, the news release said. He will become president of Occidental on July 1.

Fort Lewis’s Board of Trustees will soon appoint an interim president, the news release said, and establish a framework and timeline for a presidential search with opportunities for faculty, staff and students to be a part of the process.

“Tom approached his presidency with energy, enthusiasm and passion, always committed to placing students first and foremost,” said Steve Short, chair of the FLC Foundation Board and former trustee. “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.”

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