BANGOR, Maine — A former speaker of the Maine House of Representatives and official at the Department of Education under the Obama administration will become the interim president at the University of Maine at Augusta, University of Maine System Chancellor James Page announced on Tuesday.
Effective Sept. 9, Glenn Cummings, 53, will replace Allyson Handley, who announced in August that she would be leaving her position as president to become executive director of the Sanford Education Center at National University in San Diego, California.
“We have a strong team at UMA,” Page said in a prepared statement that was released Tuesday. “In Dr. Cummings, we add a proven Maine leader and public servant who combines state and federal policy expertise with practical experience of running and Maine-based institution.
“Like Sue Hunter at UMaine and David Flanagan at USM,” Page said, referring to the presidents of those universities, who also both began their tenures this year, “Glenn is a talented Mainer joining the leadership ranks of our public higher education system understanding our challenges and seeing our potential as a public service institution.”
Cumings will be one of four interim presidents leading a university within the state’s public higher education system. Along with Handley, former presidents Theo Kalikow at the University of Southern Maine, Paul Ferguson at the University of Maine and Cynthia Huggins at the University of Maine at Machias all announced that they would be leaving their positions this year.
As a lawmaker, Cummings served as chairman of the state’s Joint Committee on Education and Cultural Affairs, where he sponsored the bill that would create the state’s community college system.
As deputy assistant secretary at the Department of Education in 2009 and 2010, Cummings worked in the Office of Vocational and Adult Education.
Most recently, he has worked as executive director of the G.W. Hinckley organization, where he created the Maine Academy of Natural Sciences, one the the state’s first charter schools. The school is starting its fourth year of operation and serves 66 high school students, according to the school’s website.
Cummings will make $150,000 a year. He will work as president until a permanent president is appointed, the statement said.
UMS trustee Marjorie Mudd will lead the search for a permanent president.
UMA serves over 5,000 students at both its Augusta and Bangor campuses, as well as many online.