Finalists announced in search for University of Maine System’s next chancellor

Posted Dec. 14, 2011, at 3:27 p.m.
Last modified Dec. 14, 2011, at 5:45 p.m.
Meredith Hay
Courtesy photo
Meredith Hay
James Page
Courtesy photo
James Page
Rebecca Wyke
Courtesy photo
Rebecca Wyke

BANGOR, Maine — The University of Maine System has announced three finalists in the search to the system’s next chancellor.

The candidates are Meredith Hay, James Page and Rebecca Wyke.

Page, of Old Town, is principal and chief executive officer of James W. Sewall Co. and an adjunct associate professor in UMaine’s Department of Philosophy.

He was one of four finalists in the University of Maine’s search for a president early this year after former UMaine President Robert Kennedy announced plans to leave the state for a new position.

“The University of Maine System really is a critical resource for this state,” Page said Wednesday evening. “I really am honored to be part of the discussion of how to move that forward.”

Page, a lifelong Maine resident, said his background in business and education convinced him he should apply for the chancellorship.

“For me, it’s a natural combination,” he said.

Wyke is vice chancellor for finance and administration at the University of Maine System. She has also served as commissioner of the Maine Department of Administrative and Financial Services and as chief deputy secretary of state.

“I believe we’ve been able to do some very good work in navigating the [UMS campuses] through some difficult financial times,” said Wyke, who has been with the system for three years. “Those times aren’t over.”

She said the system needed to work to keep higher education affordable in the state because better education means better employment opportunities and a better overall economy.

Hay is special adviser to the chairman of the Arizona Board of Regents for Strategic Initiatives and a physiology professor at the University of Arizona’s College of Medicine. She also has held vice president-level positions at the University of Arizona, the University of Iowa and the University of Missouri System.

Hay was not available for comment on Wednesday.

In May, Chancellor Richard L. Pattenaude announced plans to resign after his contract expires in June 2012 in order to return to teaching.

Pattenaude, 65, of Bangor and Biddeford, has served as chancellor since 2007. He was president of the University of Southern Maine for 16 years before that.

Each candidate will visit the university between Jan. 17 and 20. Stops will include the University of Southern Maine in Portland, UMaine in Orono, the system office in Bangor and the University of Maine at Fort Kent.

“Our universities are facing unprecedented economic and demographic challenges,” said Gregory Johnson, co-chairman of the search committee and a member of the UMS board of trustees. “These candidates offer the right type of expertise and present innovative ideas on how we can reshape the future of higher education to best meet the needs of Maine.”

For more information on the candidates, including application materials, visit http://www.maine.edu/board/ChancellorSearch2012.php.

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