University of Maine at Augusta president resigns unexpectedly

Posted April 12, 2017, at 7:27 a.m.
Last modified April 12, 2017, at 5:21 p.m.

AUGUSTA, Maine — The University of Maine at Augusta president announced he is leaving his post after a year and four months on the job.

James Conneely, who has led the campus since early 2016, sent notices to University of Maine at Augusta employees, notifying them of his decision late Tuesday night.

“Regrettably I must inform you that I have tendered my resignation as President of UMA effective June 30, 2017,” Conneely wrote. “It has been accepted by [University of Maine System Chancellor James Page].”

Conneely didn’t say why he was resigning but thanked the school’s various boards, staff, students and community. A message left Wednesday morning wasn’t immediately returned.

Page plans to visit the Augusta campus Thursday to host an open session at 1:30 p.m. in the Jewett Hall Auditorium to hear student and staff thoughts about how to best transition to new leadership.

“I wish UMA much success in serving Maine and its people,” Conneely wrote.

Conneely took his post in January 2016 after a national search committee picked him from a pool of more than 70 applicants. Before that, he served as president of Notre Dame of Maryland University — a small school founded by Catholic sisters in 1873 where about 95 percent of the 1,600 students are female — for a year, starting in 2012.

After leaving NDMU, he became a senior consultant at Keeling & Associates Inc., a Massachusetts-based higher education consulting firm, according to his resume. Before his time at NDMU, he worked nearly a decade at Eastern Kentucky University, serving in roles including associate provost and vice president for student affairs. He also has worked at the University of Arkansas, Emory University in Atlanta, Villanova University and the University of Northern Iowa.

Follow Nick McCrea on Twitter at @nmccrea213.

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CORRECTION:

An earlier version of this story misstated the date Conneely started UMA.

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