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UMS TRUSTEES APPOINT NEW PRESIDENTS FOR UNIVERSITIES IN PRESQUE ISLE AND FARMINGTON

Wednesday, 25 April 2012

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University of Maine System Chancellor James H. Page announced today that the System's Board of Trustees approved two individuals he recommended as the next leaders of the University of Maine at Farmington and the University of Maine at Presque Isle. The Board's executive committee met late Tuesday to consider the appointments.

Dr. Kathryn A. Foster, currently a visiting fellow at the Brookings Institution in Washington, D.C., was appointed as UMF's next leader. In addition, Dr. Linda K. Schott, dean of the School of Arts, Humanities, and Social Sciences at Fort Lewis College in Durango, Colorado, was appointed as the next president at UMPI. They begin their new roles on the respective campuses on July 1 and each will receive a salary of $160,000.

“I very much look forward to having Dr. Foster and Dr. Schott join our team,” Chancellor Page explained. “I will look to them for fresh innovative ideas as we begin to design and implement systemic change at the University of Maine System.”

Dr. Foster is currently a one-year visiting fellow at the Brookings Institution where she is researching and writing about the governance of cross-state regions.  From 1993 to 2011 she worked in various capacities at the University at Buffalo (UB) in New York.  Most recently she served as director of the UB Regional Institute, a research and policy center. She also served a dual role as director of research at UB and associate professor in urban and regional planning at the State University of New York at Buffalo.   

Foster has a Ph.D. in public and international affairs from Princeton University, and received her M.C.P. in city and regional planning from the University of California at Berkeley.  Her undergraduate degree, from Johns Hopkins University, is in geography and environmental engineering.

“Dr. Foster brings a unique resume which will be of great benefit to the future of the University of Maine at Farmington,” Page added.  “She is a worthy successor to longtime President Theo Kalikow and will further position and advance the University.”  Kalikow announced last year that she is stepping down as President at the end of June, after 18 years with the institution.

“UMF is a true gem in public higher education and I am deeply honored that Chancellor Page and the UMS Trustees have invited me to become the next president,” Foster remarked. “To be asked to build on Theo Kalikow’s singular leadership and burnish the UMF legacy is an exceptional privilege.”  

Foster noted that since childhood she has made numerous trips to various parts of Maine which “deepened my interest and appreciation for Maine’s varied cultures and physical beauty.”  She added that she is eager to experience more of Maine’s arts, culture, history, and recreational opportunities.

UMS Trustee Marjorie Medd of Norway, who served as chair of the UMF presidential search committee, noted, “Dr. Foster is an engaging and inspiring person who will connect with students, faculty, staff, and the local community.  In addition, her background and knowledge of regional economic development—and the role that higher education plays in that development—will be a true asset to the entire western Maine region.”  

In an announcement earlier this month, Dr. Linda Schott was named as the candidate Chancellor Page recommended as UMPI’s President.  In that announcement, Page said Schott’s “combination of experience in leading change and community engagement make her an excellent choice to lead the University of Maine at Presque Isle.” 

Upon hearing of her official appointment, Schott said, “I am greatly honored that Chancellor Page and the Board of Trustees have entrusted the leadership of the University of Maine at Presque Isle to me.  During my visits to the campus, I was struck by the commitment and dedication of the faculty and staff, and I look forward to becoming part of the excellent team already in place.”

Schott has served as dean at Fort Lewis College since 2008.  Prior to that she was at Eastern Michigan University from 2003 to 2008 where she served in several capacities including associate dean of the College of Arts and Sciences, director of the Women’s and Gender Studies Program, and interim department head of the Department of History and Philosophy. She holds a bachelor’s degree in history and German from Baylor University, as well as a master’s degree in history and doctorate in history and humanities—both from Stanford University.

Schott will succeed Donald Zillman, who has served as UMPI’s president since 2006.  Last year, Zillman announced that he would step down as president and return to his position as a tenured professor of law at the University of Maine School of Law in Portland. 

Established in 1968, the University of Maine System is the state’s largest educational enterprise. It has an annual enrollment of more than 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 nine University College outreach centers, a law school, and an additional 75 interactive distance learning sites. For more information, visit www.maine.edu.