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University of Southern Maine’s Kalikow to Leave Presidency

UMS Chancellor tasks Kalikow with a System-wide community engagement initiative and continues consultations to identify new interim leader for the University of Southern Maine

BANGOR, MAINE – University of Maine System Chancellor James H. Page announced today that University of Southern Maine President Theo Kalikow will be vacating the office at USM effective July 18th. Dr. Kalikow will join the System office as President Emerita and Acting Vice Chancellor undertaking a System-wide community engagement initiative through the June 30, 2015, duration of her existing employment contract.

Chancellor Page also announced that he would be continuing consultations with campus and community leaders on the selection of a new interim president to lead the University of Southern Maine until the search process that begins this fall identifies a permanent president.

Following an extremely successful 18-years of service as the President of the University of Maine at Farmington, President Kalikow accepted the assignment as interim President of the University of Southern at a time of great unrest and uncertainty at a university serving Maine’s two largest metropolitan regions.

President Kalikow’s inclusive leadership steered USM through a difficult era on campus. She spearheaded a community-wide direction setting package at USM that resulted in the Metropolitan University initiative and successfully negotiated a difficult budget process that reduced expenditures at the university by $7 million.

President Kalikow will assume the title of President Emerita and acting Vice Chancellor at the University of Maine System. Dr. Kalikow will fill the position for the duration of her existing contract that runs through June 30, 2015.

Dr. Susan Hunter, the Vice Chancellor of Academic Affairs for the University of Maine System, recently accepted a two-year appointment to serve as the first woman President of the University of Maine. A work group of university leaders across the System are taking on the academic affairs portfolio while a permanent search gets under way for Dr. Hunter’s replacement. Dr. Kalikow will be taking on some responsibilities in the academic affairs portfolio at the System Office.

As President Emerita and acting Vice Chancellor, Dr. Kalikow will primarily be tasked with advancing community engagement initiatives that are part of the Board of Trustee’s 2014 Strategic Outcomes currently in the adoption process. Her portfolio will include the development of a strategic plan that defines community engagement in a public university setting for the 21st century, including specific roles, responsibilities and goals for students, faculty, the administration, and community partners. She will also be responsible for the initial implementation of six education and public service initiatives outlined in the outcomes document.

In nearly two decades of leadership at the 2,000-student University of Maine at Farmington, President Kalikow became known statewide as a model for establishing outstanding campus-community relations, leading several successful campaigns that advanced UMF’s ties to the region.

“During Theo’s 18-years at the University of Maine at Farmington, the institution set the standard for community engagement,” said Alison Hagerstrom the immediate past Chair of the UMF Board of Visitors and the Executive Director of the Greater Franklin Development Corporation. “Under Theo’s leadership UMF became an indispensable partner in regional efforts to expand access to broadband Internet, develop a brand for Franklin County, and the university launched its award winning Partnership for Civic Advancement.

President Kalikow will begin her duties on September 1, 2014 following a brief sabbatical.

“After much discussion, Theo and I have decided it is time for her to move into a new role in her final year of service to the University of Maine System,” said University of Maine System Chancellor James H. Page. “Theo took on a difficult job at USM at my urging and handled the assignment with determination and grace. Nevertheless we both recognize it is time for new leadership to address the university’s ongoing fiscal challenges, commence the implementation of the Metropolitan University Initiative, and best position USM for success under a new, permanent president.”

“The University of Southern Maine is an institution in the midst of a difficult transition,” offered President Kalikow. “However, I know we all share a commitment to the value and future of USM. It has been a privilege to serve this university and its students, but I agree with Chancellor Page that it is time to bring new energy and a new perspective to the university.”

Chancellor Page has been discussing the future of USM with campus and community leaders and will continue consultations to identify a new interim president for the university. The search process for a permanent president will commence this fall under the leadership of Board of Trustee member James Erwin.

“On behalf of the Board of Trustees, I want to thank President Kalikow for the many contributions she has made in her two years at USM and throughout her career in public higher education in Maine,” said University of Maine System Board Chair Sam Collins. “The board has great appreciation and affection for Theo and we know she will continue to make important contributions in her new role as President Emerita and Acting Vice Chancellor.”

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.