University of Maine System trustees to pick UMaine president Monday

Posted March 13, 2011, at 1:28 p.m.
Last modified March 13, 2011, at 8:56 p.m.
Paul W. Ferguson
Paul W. Ferguson
Daniel J. Julius
Daniel J. Julius
Donald J. Farish
Donald J. Farish
James H. Page
James H. Page

AUGUSTA, Maine — The University of Maine System board of trustees is expected to vote Monday on its choice to lead UMaine’s flagship campus in Orono.

Four finalists seeking to replace outgoing President Robert Kennedy have visited the UMaine campus since late January to make their case to students, faculty and staff. They are: James Page, 57, chief executive officer for James W. Sewall Co. in Old Town; Donald Farish, 68, president of  Rowan University in Glassboro, N.J.; Daniel Julius, 60, vice president of academic affairs for the University of Alaska System.; and Paul Ferguson, 58, provost and vice chancellor for academic affairs at Southern Illinois University at Edwardsville.

UMS Chancellor Richard Pattenaude formed a 14-member search committee last fall shortly after Kennedy announced he was stepping down. The committee, chaired by UMS trustee Eleanor Baker of Cape Elizabeth, included UMaine students, faculty, staff and two other trustees.

Pattenaude is expected to reveal his recommendation Monday at a board of trustees meeting at the University of Maine-Augusta. The board will vote on that recommendation later that day.

“I want to thank trustee Baker and the search committee members for a comprehensive and successful process,” Pattenaude said in a statement. “They identified four exceptional candidates who were well-received by the campus community, which helped tremendously in my decision-making process.”

The new president, the 19th in UMaine’s nearly 150-year history, is expected to begin work in early July.

Among other things, the new president likely will be forced to deal with economic uncertainty. Last year, UMaine cut a number of faculty positions, suspended some academic departments and eliminated others entirely. The university faces further budget constraints through 2014 thanks to declining appropriations from the state Legislature and reorganization at the system level.

Kennedy, who has been UMaine’s president since 2004, has applied for other positions in his home state of Minnesota, but his future plans are not clear.

In addition to voting on a new president for the Orono campus, UMS trustees on Monday will consider a five-year (2011-16) strategic plan for the University of Maine at Augusta; a recommendation to change the name of University College of Bangor to the University of Maine at Augusta – Bangor (and UMA Bangor); and a resolution to make permanent UMA’s interim academic reorganization that was presented to trustees in July 2010.

Complete information on the UMaine president search is available at www.umaine.edu/presidentsearch.

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