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Dr. Tex Boggs To Be Appointed Interim President and Provost of University of Maine at Fort Kent

Chancellor Page commends UMFK on state leadership and advancements in nursing, early college, and affordability during his final campus town hall

Fort Kent, Maine  – University of Maine System Chancellor James H. Page announced today that Dr. Tex Boggs will serve as Interim President and Provost for the University of Maine at Fort Kent while the campus conducts a national search for a new leader.   Dr. Boggs has more than twenty-five years of presidential experience and has been serving as interim provost and vice president for academic affairs at UMFK since August of 2018.

Dr. Boggs will assume his new role on July 1, 2019, following Board approval of the appointment at its May meeting. The search for a new leader will get underway in the fall.

Chancellor Page has been discussing campus and community priorities with university stakeholders since it was announced that President John Short planned to retire.  The campus community enthusiastically supported an interim presidential appointment for Dr. Boggs during the Chancellor’s visit to the St. John Valley earlier in April to meet with faculty and staff.  

“Over the course of the next year UMFK will have opportunities to invest new resources, better align its academic portfolio and campus priorities with state and regional needs, and strengthen its collaboration with the University of Maine at Presque Isle,” said Chancellor James Page.  “Dr. Boggs is a proven academic leader and collaborator. He strongly supports the campus mission, and our shared, public university commitment to student and state success.

“It has been a pleasure working with Tex this year and we appreciate his willingness to provide leadership for the campus and community.”   

“Dr. Boggs’ twenty 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,” said Kelly Martin, Vice Chair of the University of Maine System Board of Trustees.   “Dr. Boggs has been a strong addition to our leadership team and we are pleased he has agreed to serve as interim president.”

“The University of Maine System is setting a national standard for public higher education reform and state-focused service.  The innovation and leadership at the small campuses is a major reason why the change initiative has been so successful,” said Dr. Tex Boggs, Provost and incoming Interim President of the University of Maine at Fort Kent.  “We have a lot to be proud of at UMFK and I am pleased to have the opportunity to join our talented and dedicated faculty and staff during the coming year. I know they will be fully committed to both the work we will do here in the St. John Valley and the efforts we will make to strengthen our collaborations with our sister campuses and community partners.”  

UMFK Expressions of Support

“In addition to Dr. Boggs’ rich background in higher education, elected office and international experience, he will bring a continuity and stability in leadership at a critical time for UMFK,” said President John Short. “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.”

“We continue to strengthen UMFK’s state leadership and regional service in nursing education as part of the campus focus on health sciences with professional programs,” said Dr. Erin Soucy, Dean of Undergraduate Nursing.  “Dr. Boggs’ experience in distance and rural education has been a great asset as we have planned for additional growth and the launch of UMFK’s innovative online RN to BSN program to prepare more Maine healthcare professionals to care for clinically complex patients and to become workforce leaders.”

“UMFK is fortunate to have someone with such vast knowledge and experience to lead our university during this transition period,” said Shawn Graham, Assistant Professor of Human Services and Coordinator of the Behavioral Science Program.  “In the short time Dr. Boggs has been with UMFK, he has earned the respect of students, staff and faculty. Dr. Boggs’ interim presidency will support our continued growth and partnerships with other system campuses, such as our ongoing collaborations with UMPI.”

Photo of Tex Boggs
Education and Examples of Academic and Institutional Leadership

UMFK Advancements and Alignment with Strategic Priorities

Chancellor Page participated in his last campus forum at the University of Maine at Fort Kent today. During the community discussion the Chancellor and President Short led an open, interactive discussion on the Board of Trustees’ Declaration of Strategic Priorities, how campus priorities align with them, and how they guide the evolution of the campus and the University of Maine System.  The Chancellor will retire June 30.

As part of the Chancellor’s visit the University of Maine System highlighted a number of advancements at UMFK including:

33% of UMFK’s undergraduate, degree-seeking Maine students attend free of tuition and fee expense:  159 Maine students seeking an undergraduate degree from the University of Maine at Fort Kent this spring had no standard tuition or fee expense after grants and scholarships awarded as part of their financial aid package were applied to their accounts.  UMFK has provided a UMFK Promise award to 79 students for the upcoming academic year, covering the last dollars of tuition or fee expense as part of the University of Maine System Promise initiative.  4,077 Maine undergraduate students are attending Maine’s public universities this spring free of tuition and fee expense.   

Early College Leadership and Innovation:  The University of Maine at Fort Kent’s Rural U has been a driving force behind the growth in early college enrollment across Maine.  Rural U provides service to more than a hundred Maine high schools and enrolls approximately 1,100 students per year in the program. UMFK is launching Rural U Workforce in the Fall of 2019.  The program is a collection of six early college certificates high school students can earn, each with approximately 12 credits.  The certificates allow students to prepare and explore careers that lead directly to opportunities in the Maine workforce. The certificates include:

  • Nursing and Healthcare Careers;
  • Forestry Careers;
  • Behavioral Science and Human Services Careers;
  • Business Careers;
  • Criminal Justice and Law Enforcement Careers; and,
  • Environmental and Biological Careers.   

Nursing RN to BSN:  The University of Maine at Fort Kent is building on its state leadership in nursing education to launch an innovative, fully-online RN to BSN program in the Fall of 2019 in partnership with a global leader in technology-enabled higher education.  The partnership, which will expand to include 27 academic programs offered by several System institutions, will lead to a multimillion-dollar investment and program innovations. The RN to BSN being offered by UMFK is part of the Maine University Nursing Workforce Plan launched last fall to address Maine’s nursing workforce shortages.  

Distributed April 25, 2019