Gregory G. Fitch announced his retirement as executive director of the Alabama Commission on Higher Education (ACHE) Wednesday, ending a 45-year career in education.
Fitch, who has been at the helm of the state’s coordinating board for higher education since July 2006, will end his career with ACHE Dec. 31.
“As I begin this next chapter of my life, I will miss working with the excellent ACHE staff members and the outstanding higher education institutions in Alabama,” said Fitch. “I want to thank all of the commissioners that I have been privileged to work with since I came to Alabama and for the many opportunities that I have been given.”
ACHE Vice Chairman Randy McKinney of Gulf Shores has been appointed to lead the search committee to find a replacement. Other members are Ed Sanders (Jasper), Charles Buntin (Dothan), Miranda Frost (Huntsville), and Bill Jones (Alexander City).
Prior to his arrival in Alabama, Fitch was the State Higher Education Executive Officer (SHEEO) in both Missouri and Idaho. He was founding president of the Utah College of Applied Technology and president of three other community colleges in Nebraska, Washington, and Oklahoma.
Commission Chairman Charles Ball praised Fitch for the work he has done while at ACHE.
“Dr. Fitch has brought a high level of experience to the agency during times of budget cuts and challenging educational issues,” Ball said. “He always has had the best interests of students at heart.”