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President Allyson Handley Leaving University of Maine Augusta

UMS Chancellor James Page to launch search for interim president to maintain advancements and momentum initiated under President Handley’s leadership.

BANGOR, MAINE – University of Maine System Chancellor James H. Page announced today University of Maine at Augusta President Alison Handley is leaving the university to become the Executive Director of National University’s Sanford Education Center. President Handley has served for six-and-a-half years at UMA, driving key advancements at the campus and across public higher education in Maine. Under President Handley’s leadership UMA has forged strong community connections and built the capacity to sustain its momentum as the institution moves beyond its 50th anniversary in 2015.

President Handley will work with her team and community leaders through September 8th on ensuring a smooth transition of leadership at the university. She starts her new position in California on September 15, 2014.

Chancellor Page also announced today that he would immediately begin consulting with university leaders as well as campus and community stakeholders for the selection of an interim president to continue the advancements and maintain the momentum achieved under President Handley’s leadership.

Important developments at the University of Maine at Augusta over the last half-dozen years have included:

  • Cultivation of Partnerships that led to new programs in Architecture, Aviation and Nursing;
  • Developed stronger community ties through civic engagement and CAP-EDU program;
  • Expanded distance and on-line learning and support for adult learners;
  • Expansion of UMA’s now nationally recognized Veterans Programs; and
  • Establishment of Advancement and Alumni Office and the Office of Institutional Research.

“President Handley has provided the University of Maine at Augusta with legacy leadership,” offered Chancellor Page. “She has achieved campus and community consensus around tough decisions, established important new programs for our students, and she has built a leadership team and infrastructure that will sustain the important work she began. Allyson has been a great leader and a good friend in Maine’s public higher education community and we wish her well.”

“This was a very difficult decision for me, because I love UMA and the people who work here and go to school here,” said President Handley. “But I can leave UMA, knowing it is in great shape, with a tremendous leadership team in place to continue our momentum, growth and success.”

“The members of the Board of Trustees have great appreciation for the work President Handley has done to develop and deliver programs that make public higher education relevant and accessible for working Mainers and non-traditional learners,” said Board of Trustee Chair Sam Collins. “Allyson has been a good steward. Thanks to her contributions UMA is stronger and better positioned for the future.”

“President Handley has been a campus leader and a community builder in the capital region of Maine,” said State Senator Roger Katz of Augusta. “Her civic leadership has made our corner of the world a better place and provided better opportunities for the students she serves. We are going to miss Allyson in Augusta but thank her for her friendship and all she has accomplished for our region.”

Established in 1968, the University of Maine System is the state’s largest educational enterprise. It has an annual enrollment of nearly 40,000 students and serves over 500,000 individuals annually through educational and cultural offerings. Two-thirds of its alumni—approximately 120,000 people—live in Maine. The University of Maine System features seven universities—some with multiple campuses—located across the state, as well as eight University College outreach centers, a law school, an additional 31 course sites, and Cooperative Extension. For more information, visit www.maine.edu.