Higher education officials address Legislature

Posted April 14, 2009, at 12:30 p.m.

AUGUSTA, Maine — The top administrators of Maine’s two systems of public higher education are reporting to the Legislature on the state of their respective systems.

President John Fitzsimmons of the Maine Community College System and University of Maine System Chancellor Richard Pattenaude delivered back-to-back addresses Tuesday to a joint convention of the House and Senate.

Fitzsimmons called for a special focus on Maine’s growing number of unemployed, and said the community college system may be one of the state’s most important tools for recovery.

Pattenaude says he’s reasonably confident about the future of the university system, but warns of short-term difficulties.