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Michael Mace

Michael Mace

Rocky Mountain College President Michael Mace will retire next June.

Mace, who has headed the Billings college since 2005,  announced during a RMC board of trustees meeting Friday that he will leave the job June 30, 2013.

On Friday afternoon, Mace said in a phone interview that he wanted to retire "to go fishing, relax and spend more time with my family."

He had talked this summer with his family, some faculty and trustees about his plans.

"It's been a great run for me," he said, adding that "this is one of the best jobs a fella could have. I'm a lucky man."

Mace, a member of the board of trustees, was named interim president Oct. 12, 2005, after President Thomas Oates resigned.

The board expected Mace to serve only nine months, but later asked him to stay on, said Carl Hansen, board president.

"Things were dire," Hansen said Friday, but Mace "got things turned around."

Enrollment is double what it was when Hansen attended the school in the 1980s. Nearly 1,000 students now go to Rocky, according to a college press release.

Hansen said the board will form a committee to search for a new president. He expects to have someone hired by the time Mace leaves next year.       

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