The University of Maine at Farmington’s president of six years is leaving to lead a college in her home state of New Jersey.

The College of New Jersey, based in the Trenton suburb of Ewing Township, revealed Kathryn Foster would become its 16th president during an event at the New Jersey campus Tuesday morning. Foster has been at the helm of Maine’s westernmost university since 2012.

She’ll start her new job July 1. She’ll continue working at UMF until then.

“President Foster is a dynamic and extraordinarily talented higher education leader and advocate,” University of Maine System Chancellor James Page said Tuesday in a news release. “The University of Maine at Farmington is a stronger institution, better positioned for success and service to Maine and its students because of Kate’s inspired guidance.”

The university system hasn’t yet made a decision on how to replace Foster. Page expects to visit the campus on April 4 to discuss leadership options with faculty and staff. He plans to announce a leadership transition plan before the end of the semester.

“I look forward to returning to a state that has meant so much to me over the years and where I still have family,” Foster said in a College of New Jersey news release. “New Jersey is in my DNA. It is a place where I feel comfortable and at home.”

During her tenure at UMF, the campus’s enrollment has stayed relatively steady, while several of the system’s other small campuses have struggled to attract and retain students. The campus also saw widespread investment in its facilities under her tenure.

In 2016, Maine Magazine named Foster one of 50 people “chartering the future of Maine.”

The College of New Jersey picked Foster following a national search that launched last July, after the college’s president of the past 19 years announced plans to retire.

Follow Nick McCrea on Twitter at @nmccrea213.

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