AUGUSTA – Scott Knapp, president of Central Maine Community College in Auburn, has been appointed to also serve as interim president at the York County Community College in Wells. The announcement was made Friday by Maine Community College System President John Fitzsimmons.

Knapp will provide leadership to both CMCC and YCCC during the search for a new Wells president. Dr. Patricia Ryan, who was the York president since 2002, died last week after a battle with cancer.

Ryan’s death hit many hard in the community college system, Knapp said. “She was 61. Those of us who are 59, we think that’s young.”

Knapp said Friday he’s headed both colleges for two days, and, so far, it has been going well. The commute from his Auburn home to York is one hour. “My wife works in Saco, so I’m getting no sympathy,” he said. “I’ll be getting up earlier, going to bed later.”

With e-mail, voice mail and other technology, Knapp said he’ll be able to address issues of both colleges from one location. “One advantage is that both colleges have very experienced, senior staff.” He’s not interested in working in York permanently. “I’m happy (at CMCC).”

In a news release, Fitzsimmons said he was grateful to Knapp for assisting YCCC. “He is an exceptional leader who is thoughtful in his decisions, highly regarded in his community and throughout our system,” Fitzsimmons said.

Knapp has been president of CMCC since 1997. After a national search, a new York president is expected to be named in about four months.

– Bonnie Washuk