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UMaine President Susan J. Hunter to Continue at Helm of Maine’s Flagship

Chancellor Page extends appointment of first woman President
in the 150-year history of the University of Maine through June 30, 2018

University of Maine System Chancellor James H. Page announced today that University of Maine President Susan J. Hunter will extend her appointment at the helm of Maine’s Flagship Institution through June 30, 2018.  A valued member of the Maine University community for approximately thirty years, Susan Hunter became the first woman to serve as President of UMaine in July of 2014.

“President Hunter has set the standard for campus and cooperative leadership as we have worked to serve Maine as One University,” said James H. Page, Chancellor of the University of Maine System.  “The advancement of UMaine’s statewide mission and the many contributions the flagship is making to our collective efforts to strengthen and extend public higher education for all Maine learners is testimony to President Hunter’s leadership and the dedication of her outstanding team.”

“The Board of Trustees has great respect and appreciation for President Hunter’s leadership in Orono and commitment to public service,” said UMS Board of Trustee Chair Sam Collins.  “We strongly endorse the Chancellor’s decision to reappoint President Hunter and look forward to working closely together to serve our students and secure a more prosperous future for Maine.”

The extension of President Hunter’s tenure is endorsed by the University of Maine Board of Visitors, says board chair and alumna Anne Lucey.

“President Hunter’s vision and leadership are invaluable during this time of significant change for public higher education in Maine,” Lucey said. “In the true land grant tradition, President Hunter and her leadership team have succeeded in forging important public and private partnerships statewide to successfully implement UMaine’s strategic plan, and make significant contributions to the teaching, research and public engagement mission.

“Sue emphasizes that, as president, she works for the people of the state of Maine, and that’s what she has resoundingly demonstrated during her tenure at the helm of the state’s flagship university,” Lucey said.

Letters of support for the President’s reappointment came to the Board of Trustees from the leadership of Student Government and the Graduate Student Government. UMaine faculty members also praised the decision.

“I am delighted to learn that President Hunter is willing to continue to serve UMaine, at the request of the Chancellor and the BOT,” said Habib Dagher, Executive Director of UMaine’s Advanced Structures and Composites Center. “In a time of change, President Hunter has brought trusted, experienced and inclusive leadership to UMaine. She has built important bridges, both on and off campus, and led UMaine through a historic enrollment growth. She will continue to provide a steady hand on the tiller.”

Highlights of Hunter’s tenure as president include a successful enrollment management campaign, with UMaine expecting to welcome approximately 2,300 new first year students — its largest incoming class in the University’s history this fall. An estimated 36 percent of this fall’s incoming class heralds from the six states — Vermont, New Hampshire, New Jersey, Connecticut, Massachusetts and Pennsylvania — that were targeted in UMaine’s Flagship Match program.

Building on the success of its enrollment management initiatives and President Hunter’s commitment to collaboration, UMaine and the University of Maine at Machias began working at the start of the current admissions cycle to offer prospective students enrollment at UMM. Currently more than 50 college-ready applicants are expected to be enrolled this fall at UMM. More than 30 of these students are from outside of Maine.

The enrollment collaboration with UMM is in keeping with the primary partnership between the two campuses, aimed at increasing administrative efficiencies, enrollment growth, and enhanced academic opportunities for students and faculty. In addition, UMaine and the University of Southern Maine continue to collaborate on the programming for the Maine Center for Graduate Professional Studies initiative which will ultimately enhance business, law and public policy graduate education in the state.

On campus, UMaine has signed a groundbreaking Gift Processing and Advancement Services Agreement with the University of Maine Foundation, effective July 1. The partnership for a unified advancement operation will enhance philanthropy essential for the university’s future by providing services to make a difference in gift administration and fundraising.

Two of UMaine’s most significant private-sector contributions came this past year from the Harold Alfond Foundation — the Stephen E. King Chair in Literature, established with a $1 million donation; and a $3.9 million gift to complete the W2 Ocean Engineering Laboratory and Advanced Manufacturing Laboratory at the Advanced Structures and Composites Center on campus. The $13.8 million facility is named in honor of philanthropist Harold Alfond.

“Linking the vision and purpose of Maine’s only public research university with that of our public- and private-sector partners benefits Maine,” said Hunter. “It’s a privilege to be collaborating with leaders statewide who value UMaine’s distinctions and know that, together, we can help move Maine forward. It’s an honor to be president of such a great university, working as a team with the UMaine community.”

Hunter has been a member of the UMaine community since 1986. She began her full-time career at the University of Maine in 1991 as a faculty member in the Department of Biological Sciences. Her administrative positions at UMaine included chair of the Department of Biological Sciences, and associate provost and dean for undergraduate education. Hunter served five years as executive vice president for academic affairs and provost.

Prior to starting her appointment as UMaine’s first woman president, Hunter served as vice chancellor for academic affairs for the University of Maine System.

President Hunter’s photo can be found here.