University of Southern Maine President Glenn Cummings makes a pitch for changing the institution’s name to the University of Maine Portland at a press conference in Portland in 2019. Credit: Troy R. Bennett / BDN

The president of the University of Southern Maine has announced that he will be stepping down from the position by next June. 

On Tuesday in a letter addressed to students and faculty, Glenn Cummings wrote that “it has been the honor of my life to serve the students here as president, but I believe that now is the right time for a change – for me and for USM.” 

He will step down as president on June 30, 2022, but will continue to serve the school as a faculty member. 

Cummings took over the post in the summer of 2015 when Harvey Kesselman stepped away from his nomination. Cummings is a Portland resident and served as the speaker of the Maine House of Representatives from 2000 to 2008. 

During his time at USM, Cummings helped guide the school toward higher enrollment rates and improved student retention, after the school had seen low enrollment numbers in the years before he took the helm. 

He also helped the university to greenlight a new 580-bed Portland Commons affordable student housing residence hall, which Cummings said would help to eliminate some of the barriers to student success. 

Cummings showed support for the university’s development of a new music facility that was made possible by a gift from Dr. Alfred and D. Suzi Osher. The facility will be located at the school’s main campus in Portland, and will provide a central hub for the music program with a new performance hall, along with providing rehearsal spaces, studios and an art gallery.

“Together, we have been building the great university that our state needs and deserves. I plan to advance our important work and our shared vision for my remaining time as president,” Cummings wrote in his letter. 

Leela Stockley

Leela Stockley is an alumna of the University of Maine. She was raised in northern Maine, and loves her cat Wesley and staying active in the Maine outdoors.