UMS Chancellor James Page spoke with audience members at a town hall meeting at the University of Maine at Fort Kent on Thursday, April 25.

Outgoing chancellor visits UMFK, names interim president

During his final campus town hall meeting at the University of Maine at Fort Kent on Thursday, outgoing University of Maine System Chancellor James H. Page named Dr. Tex Boggs to serve as interim president and provost for UMFK while the system trustees conduct a national search for a new leader.

Current UMFK President John Short announced on March 7 his plans to retire at the end of this academic year.

Boggs has more than 25 years of administrative experience and has been serving as interim provost and vice president for academic affairs at UMFK since August 2018.

The chancellor also announced on Thursday that the trustees plan to confer upon former Maine Gov. Paul Lepage an honorary degree at the 2019 UMFK graduation ceremony in May. Page said Lepage will be in attendance at the event.

Kelly Martin of Fort Kent who is vice chair of the University of Maine System Board of Trustees, said Thursday in a press release issued by the system that “Dr. Boggs’ 20 years of experience leading Western Wyoming Community College is good preparation for the educational and service opportunities we have here at UMFK and in the University of Maine System.”

She added that he has been a “strong addition to our leadership team and we are pleased he has agreed to serve as interim president.”

Short said Boggs will “bring a continuity and stability in leadership at a critical time for UMFK. He is passionate about the mission of UMFK and the challenges and opportunities that the campus will face in the next year. He has earned the confidence of the entire campus community and has been a team member in this transition. I am certain that the greater Fort Kent community will embrace his passion for the critical role that UMFK plays in the St. John Valley.”

Page, a UMFK graduate who plans to retire as UMS Chancellor on June 30, expressed in the release his confidence that his alma mater will be in good hands while the trustees search for someone to fill the position of UMFK president on a more permanent basis. At Thursday’s town hall event, Page said the search will begin in earnest this coming fall, and he anticipates the trustees will fill the position sometime late spring or early summer of 2020.