PRESQUE ISLE, Maine — Dr. Don Zillman, the University of Maine at Presque Isle president who has led a successful campaign to create a greener campus, announced Friday that he will step down at the end of the 2011-2012 academic year to return full time to academic pursuits.
Zillman has served as UMPI’s president since 2006.
The University of Maine System Board of Trustees had renewed Zillman’s contract to serve as UMPI’s president until June 30, 2013, but Zillman said he is choosing to resign in the spring of 2012 in order to spend time with his family in New Mexico and to return to his position as tenured Edward S. Godfrey Professor of Law at the University of Maine School of Law. His option to return to that position expires on June 30, 2012.
Zillman said he and his colleagues at UMPI have “accomplished much in troubled times,” and he feels that it is a good time for new leadership on campus.
“We will do much more this year that we will be announcing soon,” he said Friday. “But, much remains to be done under strong, new leadership.”
The UMS Board of Trustees will review Zillman’s resignation during its Sept. 19 meeting. A committee then will be formed to begin a national search during the 2011-2012 academic year, with the successful candidate expected to begin work in summer 2012. The new president would come on board as a new chancellor also begins leading the UMaine System.
Zillman came to campus after 30 years of study and teaching in the field of energy law and policy, and a portion of that work involved renewable energy resources. Thus far under his administration, the campus has erected a 600-kilowatt wind turbine, and a biomass boiler and solar panels are being installed at Pullen Hall, which is UMPI’s major classroom building.
The campus has formed a Green Committee made up of UMPI professionals who are looking at ways to make the university more environmentally friendly.
The campus also has taken additional steps to decrease energy use, such as using an energy-efficient system to heat the swimming pool in Gentile Hall and planting more flowers on campus to decrease the amount of lawn that needs to be mowed to save gas and reduce emissions.
In 2008, the university also began offering the first of many energy courses to students and community members. That same year, Zillman co-wrote his book, “Strategic Legal Writing,” with colleague Evan J. Roth, assistant U.S. attorney in Portland. The book instructs readers in effective legal writing. It provides detailed scenarios so they can put those skills into practice and explains the techniques for setting and achieving larger, strategic objectives in that writing.
Zillman also co-edited “Beyond the Carbon Economy” with Catherine Redgwell, Lila Barrera-Hernandez and Yinka Omorogbe in 2007. It also was published by Oxford University Press.
Zillman and his co-editors are under contract with Oxford University Press for the forthcoming “Understanding the Legal Aspects of Energy Networks.” The book has 25 authors and four editors, including Zillman, Barerra-Hernandez of Argentina, Inigo del Guayo of Spain and Martha Roggenkamp of the Netherlands.
Zillman said Friday that he has loved his time in Presque Isle.
“I have richly enjoyed working with the campus and the Aroostook County community during the past several years,” he said. “What started as an emergency fill-in for two years has been the most rewarding and challenging work in my career. I will miss it greatly and look forward to staying connected with UMPI when I return to full-time teaching and academic research in Maine.”