UMFK presidential candidates to visit campus next week

FORT KENT, Maine — The University of Maine System Board of Trustees welcomes the public to meet with four candidates who have been selected as finalists to possibly serve as the next University of Maine at Fort Kent president. 


Tex Boggs has served as interim president and provost at the university since John Short resigned from the position last June. 

The search for a new president began in earnest in September when the Board of Trustees authorized a presidential search committee to begin recruiting qualified individuals to interview for the position.  

The 14 member search committee includes representatives of the faculty, students, staff, trustees, Board of Visitors and community with trustee Kelly Martin of Fort Kent as chairman. The consulting firm Storbeck Search & Associates has assisted in the search for qualified candidates. 

The new president will be responsible for overseeing all aspects of operation of the northernmost of the UMS six universities and will report directly to UMS Chancellor Dannel Malloy. The university currently enrolls nearly 1,600 students.

“The next president of UMFK must be a highly engaged and collaborative leader with a deep understanding of the evolving challenges facing public higher education at the state and national levels,” according to the presidential search prospectus available at the University of Maine at Fort Kent website.

Among other characteristics sought in the new president are emotional intelligence, inspirational leadership skills, financial acumen, integrity, a sense of humor and “an appreciation for the University’s distinctive, rural location in Northern Maine.”

The Board of Trustees developed the list of characteristics after soliciting public opinion last fall.

“Serving on a presidential search committee is a time-consuming and demanding assignment. All members of the committee have conscientiously and enthusiastically embraced the work,” Martin said. “Together we have been able to assess many aspects of the candidates’ experiences and potential. We are optimistic that we will have an outstanding group of candidates to introduce to the community later this week and a successful search outcome.”

The candidates will meet with members of the public at open forums from 2:30 to 3:30 p.m. in the Nadeau Hall Teleconference Room on the following dates: Tuesday, Feb. 11, Thursday, Feb. 13, Wednesday, Feb. 19 and Tuesday, Feb. 25. 

The candidates will also meet in separate sessions with the President’s Cabinet, Faculty Assembly, staff, students and other campus constituents. In addition, candidates will meet with the chancellor and UMS leadership staff at the UMS Offices in Orono following the campus portion of their visits. 

“Please take advantage of the opportunity to attend the open forum for each candidate as well as any smaller sessions you may be invited to attend,” Martin said. “It will be beneficial to show the finalists that the UMFK community is highly interested in the selection of the president and to extend a warm welcome.”

Following the campus visits, the committee and the chancellor will review all of the campus visit feedback and the committee will provide its final summary of the finalists’ qualities to the chancellor who will then conduct further due diligence and make a selection and recommendation to the Board of Trustees in March.

The Board of Trustees will elect the president on the nomination of the chancellor. Once elected, it is anticipated that the new president will begin working sometime after the conclusion of this academic year in May.

Information about the final four candidates will be provided on the University of Maine at Fort Kent website on Friday, Feb. 7.

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