Dr. Raymond Rice Appointed Interim President at University of Maine at Presque Isle
President Rice and his leadership team charged with continuity of direction and maintaining institutional momentum as UMPI expands state and national leadership in proficiency-based education
PRESQUE ISLE, MAINE — University of Maine System Chancellor James H. Page announced today that Dr. Raymond J. Rice has been appointed interim president and will remain as provost of the University of Maine at Presque Isle. The appointment comes shortly after Chancellor Page visited Presque Isle to discuss university leadership with campus and community members following the announcement that out-going UMPI President Linda Schott was chosen to lead Southern Oregon University.
Dr. Rice, a professor of English, has been a member of the University of Maine at Presque Isle faculty for nineteen years. His leadership roles on campus have included serving as Chair of the College of Arts and Sciences. In 2014 Dr. Rice began serving as Provost and Vice President for Academic and Student Affairs.
To better prepare Maine high school graduates, state law mandates that secondary schools must begin issuing proficiency-based high school diplomas. Identifying a strategic opportunity to serve incoming students and Maine’s public schools, the University of Maine at Presque is becoming a state and nationally recognized leader in proficiency-based education. As UMPI’s academic leader, Dr. Rice has directed the campus pedagogical, curricular, and assessment transition.
The New England Board of Higher Education recognized UMPI’s achievements in proficiency-based education with its 2016 Maine State Merit Award.
Dr. Rice has also overseen the expansion of early college offerings at the Maine School of Science and Mathematics in Limestone and area secondary schools and has worked closely with the New England Association of Schools and Colleges on reaccreditation for UMPI. In addition, Dr. Rice has been a key contributor to the One University Initiative, co-chairing the committee that established a General Education Transfer agreement among Maine’s public universities and Maine’s Community Colleges.
As UMPI President, Dr. Rice will serve on the Maine Public University System leadership team as a member of Presidents Council.
“The sentiment of campus and community stakeholders is clear and aligns with my own; our leadership at the University of Maine at Presque Isle must remain committed to the university’s strategic vision and direction,” said James H. Page, Chancellor of the University of Maine System. “With Dr. Rice’s ground floor understanding and commitment to the direction and methodology of proficiency-based education in place, UMPI can remain focused on its established goals of service to our students and the region.”
Recognizing the responsibilities of a joint president and provost appointment, Chancellor Page, Dr. Rice, and campus leaders have developed plans for delegating administrative and academic responsibilities to a high performing team so President Rice can provide direction and oversight while remaining focused on mission critical priorities and goals.
“Boldly and collectively the University of Maine at Presque Isle set a strategic objective to become a higher education leader in proficiency-based education,” said Dr. Raymond Rice, Interim President and Provost of the University of Maine at Presque Isle. “Our shared commitment to success and service has earned national recognition for our university and a mandate of continued progress from our university leaders and stakeholders. I look forward to working closely with our colleagues in Presque Isle and across the state to maintain our progress and service to Maine.”
“The University of Maine at Presque Isle is an important resource and community partner for Aroostook County and the State,” said Sam Collins, Chair of the University of Maine System Board of Trustees. “The vision and dedication of the faculty and staff in Presque Isle are expanding the statewide capacity of public higher education to serve all Maine learners. We are confident Dr. Rice’s appointment ensures the collective work of delivering a proficiency-based education will continue.”
“Provost Rice is a valued member of the UMPI faculty, a respected academic administrator, and has helped shape our shared focus on education and student success,” Jacqui Lowman, Associate Professor, Professional Communication and Journalism at the University of Maine at Presque Isle, said. Dr. Lowman also chairs the UMPI faculty assembly. “Ray is viewed as an architect, advocate, and consensus builder for education reform and institutional advancement. There is strong campus support for his appointment and appreciation for his inclusive leadership style.”
Located in the heart of northern Maine, the University of Maine at Presque Isle was established in 1903 as a state teachers’ school. The University now offers a wide range of liberal arts and professional programs, as well as several programs that are offered completely online. UMPI is one of the seven universities within the University of Maine System.